A Hawke's Bay man got the surprise of a lifetime after an up-close encounter with one of the ocean's greatest predators while fishing off the coast of Waipatiki.
Jonathan Joe was on the water about 34km north of Napier with his uncle Alan Young when they spotted what they believe was a great white shark about 11am on Good Friday.
Joe said he spotted a shadow in the water, before the great white shark revealed itself.
The startled fisherman said the shark "hung around" and circled the boat for about 20 minutes before disappearing into the water.
"It was unreal to see such an amazing fish so close up in the water," he said.
Joe said the size of the shark's gills and its white belly was also a good indication that it was a great white.
National Aquarium of New Zealand general manager Rachel Haydon said the shark is most likely to be a white shark (Carcharodon carcharias - commonly called great white sharks) because of its dorsal fin, strong pectoral fins and the flash of white seen in the video - but possibly a juvenile.
"Juvenile and adult white sharks can migrate seasonally in New Zealand, between March to September, so we may be seeing a juvenile on the move in this video," she said.
Haydon said the person filming the shark was very lucky to have seen it.
"To be honest, it is more likely they will see us than we see the white sharks," she said.
The two men said they attempted to feed the shark, which Joe estimated to be around three metres long.
"The shark wasn't hungry though," Joe said.
"It was a dead calm day with a few nice snapper, just topped off with an awesome experience."
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Haydon said in New Zealand the sharks are likely to be hunting for anything from fur seals and other seal species, sea lions, fish, other sharks, rays, blue penguins, and dolphins.
"White sharks are obviously successful predators and people can be naturally nervous and exercise caution, but they are greatly threatened with their populations estimated to have declined by 90% in some places," she said.
People swimming at Tauranga and Mount Maunganui's beaches are urged to be aware of the presence of sharks, following the sighting of juvenile great white sharks over the long weekend.
The Department of Conservation is advising people to swim where there are surf lifesaving patrols and avoid swimming in the main harbour channels and more than 50m from the shore in those areas.
In January, 19-year-old Kaelah Marlow died in a shark attack at Bowentown, Bay of Plenty.
The average size for an adult female great white is between 4.2m and 5.2m, while a male average 3.5m to 4.1m, according to DoC.
Haydon said white sharks are protected in New Zealand waters under the Wildlife Act 1953, so it is illegal to hunt, kill or harm them within our waters.
"Any offence under this Act is liable to a fine of up to $250,000 and up to two years' imprisonment," she added.