A kayaker in New Zealand paddled through the encounter of a lifetime when a great white shark rammed his kayak not once but twice while it was in hot pursuit of a seal.
The brute force from the second bump of the great white was enough to send Greg Potter hightailing it back to shore has he was fishing several miles offshore but still close enough to see the Eastern Cape in New Zealand.
Despite making it out of there safely, Greg Potter told the NZ Herald he is still terrified thinking about what might’ve been. Saying “If it had managed to get me out of the kayak, that that could have been a pretty disastrous ending.”
Adding that his outfit would’ve mimicked a seal had he gone overboard, saying “I was dressed in full black, pretty much … I can only imagine what the shark would have made of my legs thrashing around. That does give me the chills thinking about that.”
Kayaker Greg Potter posted video of the great white shark ramming his kayak (twice) to his Facebook Page ‘GP Fishing Adventures’ (video below) and also to his YouTube channel.
Great White Sharks in New Zealand
East Cape, New Zealand represents the Easternmost part of New Zealand. It is a fishing hot spot, as all coastal parts of NZ are for the most part. But the East Cape is known for excellent snapper fishing as well as kingfish and bass. And depending on the time of the year, it can provide incredibly hot marlin fishing for both blue marlin and striped marlin. Potter says he’s hooked up with a 220+ pound marlin while kayak fishing in the area.
It’s also a hot tuna fishing spot. And Potter told the NZ Herald he was chasing after tuna in his kayak when he was rammed by the great white shark pursuing the seal. Initially, when he saw the water explode he didn’t realize it was a great white shark in hot pursuit of a seal. In fact, he thought it was tuna so he went to move towards the commotion.
A tuna feeding frenzy is one of the most exciting encounters in fishing and it can happen incredibly fast. So there’s no faulting him for thinking it was a tuna when the water began to boil as he was kayaking and at water level and unable to have a higher vantage point like he would if he was fishing from a boat. He went on to say the encounter was “breathtaking seeing what you’d usually see in David Attenborough documentaries up close in the flesh.”
NZ’s home to healthy waters
New Zealand, like Cape Cod and Baja California, is one of the global hotspots for great white shark sightings. They are a protected species in New Zealand, as they are elsewhere, but the New Zealand government admits to knowing relatively little about why NZ is such a hot spot for these sharks.
The government’s own landing page for white sharks says “little is known of habitat use in New Zealand waters” which is fascinating. On the surface, the answer seems obvious. New Zealand’s waters are rich with fish and marine life. It’s an incredibly healthy fishery that can sustain a robust feeding chain. But it is unclear what makes the shallows a popular region for white sharks.
It remains to be seen if this is the strangest shark video we’ve seen this month. This ‘most Australian video ever’ of a surfer riding a wave with a shark on the front of his surfboard might take the cake.