A video shot off Gansbaii, South Africa of a white shark bumping a cage, after charging a hang bait, has been making the rounds in the (largely tabloid) media today. Some of the more creative news outlets have referred to the shark in the video as “trying to bite through steel bars of diving cage” and “charging the cameraman.” However, the behavior seen in the video does not appear to document anything beyond the shark going after a bait in close proximity to the cage and then bumping the cage after the bait was pulled away. The white shark does get briefly “tangled” with the bars of the cage, but eventually swims off without further incident.
White sharks do not have the ability to swim backwards, so when they are charging a bait momentum will often cause them to continue in the same direction, even if the bait is pulled away from them. Additionally, when attempting to bite prey, white sharks will often roll their eyes backward as a protective measure, rendering them temporarily blind, which can also contribute to collisions if bait is close to cage. The behavior exhibited in this video seems consistent with a shark merely going for a hang bait and subsequently bumping into the cage as a result.
YouTube user Aaron Caplan documented an encounter with an adult white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) 6 miles off the coast of Ocean City, MD. According to the video description, the shark was estimated at 13′-15′ in length and remained around the boat for approximately an hour. The shark mouthed the boat and engine before eating a chum bag. Caplan and his boatmates fed the shark a yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) carcass, and then it left the area.
“Great White Ambush,” this week’s episode of National Geographic Channel’s “Die Trying,” will follow a team of shark experts, along with wildlife filmmaker Andy Casagrande to Shark Alley off the coast of Gansbaai, South Africa. The team’s goal is to capture a white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in hopes of mounting data loggers and camera tags on the back of the shark, in order to scientifically document the complete profile of a breaching great white for the first time ever.
Some lucky passengers aboard a Quoddy Link Marine whale-watching vessel were treated to a somewhat rare sighting of an adult white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) after heading out of St. Andrews harbor in New Brunswick, Canada. YouTube user Dave Hannett caught some brief footage of the shark, as seen in the video above. According to the video information, the shark was spotted about a mile out from the harbor.
White sharks are known to inhabit the Atlantic waters of coastal Canadian provinces, but sightings are fairly rare.
YouTube user Ian Banks had a chance encounter with a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) on Wednesday while diving Kingscliff Reef off New South Wales, Australia. As you can see in the video, the shark didn’t stick around long upon Banks’ approach. The video just goes to show that, unlike what we often see in major media, sometimes white sharks are more afraid of humans than vice-versa.