An Auckland man couldn't believe it when a seal snatched the fish his father-in-law had just caught.

Hassan Tariq was on a fishing charter today when his father-in-law caught a snapper in the Hauraki Gulf, between Mission Bay and Rangitoto Island.

While Mr Tariq was getting a landing net to scoop the large fish out of the water, a seal swam up from under the boat and grabbed the snapper.

"I was so shocked. The skipper on our boat had been a skipper for 24 years and he said he'd never seen a seal in that area and he'd definitely never seen a seal eat a fish like that," Mr Tariq said.


"It was the most surreal thing I've ever seen."Everyone on the boat screamed with delight when they saw the seal, he said.

"There was about 20 of us on the boat, including quite a few tourists. Everyone was thrilled and fascinated by what they were watching."

Except maybe my father-in-law who's visiting from Pakistan. He was screaming 'leave it, leave it'.

"We had three good-sized snappers and a kahawai at the end of the day, though, so we're having fish for dinner tonight."