Shark spotted just metres from swimmer at popular beach: ‘Looking for breakfast’

Drone footage shows the two-metre great white swimming in shallow waters, one of four seen near a NSW surfing beach.

A Sydney-based photographer has revealed how a great white shark population is flourishing at a popular surfing beach on the NSW South Coast.

The TikToker behind the account Carved Banks shocked viewers when he uploaded a video of a white shark circling in shallow waters just 30 metres offshore on Sunday.

“We were just cruising around because the conditions were really nice and the weather was great,” Banks told Yahoo News Australia, adding that a swimmer had just got out of the water moments before he started recording.

The white shark in the water and Banks off the side of the jetski.
The white shark was spotted by the Sydney based photographer Banks just 30 metres offshore. Source: TikTok/carvedbanks

In the video, which Banks shot off the back of a jet ski alongside his wife, the photographer tells his followers the juvenile female was in “shallow water” and “looking for a bit of breakfast... just off the beach”.

“Oh look at that,” he said, describing the two-metre shark as “an absolute beauty”, before adding “this is where these guys hang out all the time”.

Four sharks in eight kilometres near NSW beach

Speaking to Yahoo News, Banks reiterated he comes across juvenile sharks in the area “quite frequently”.

“I saw four different sharks across an eight kilometre area [on Sunday], all juveniles, so they’re commonly around,” he explained.

“It's an interesting thing that the juveniles sort of cruise in the shallows and feed off of the small rays on the sandy bottom. And I think they take refuge in some of these areas because they're only small, and growing up.”

But the key words there are "growing up" because the sharks are getting bigger.

“What’s really interesting as well is that I've come across some really sizeable ones in and around that region,” he said. “It's almost as if I'm seeing the same sharks just growing up as I've been on and off there for three years and I’m seeing them getting bigger, which is fascinating. The biggest one we’ve come across was 3.5 metres.”

And while the beach — which Banks refused to name for fear of shark hunters — is “kind of remote”, the photographer said “you get surfers down there all the time”, but he’s “never heard of any issues”.

“I think that’s because they’re juveniles and they’re still growing and they’re more focused on the smaller things,” he said.

“So that’s the positive thing, that they’re always around and you do get surfers and swimmers in the area but we're not seeing any issues. I think it's down to the fact that they are juveniles and their mouths and jaws haven’t developed enough to bite anything that's larger than them.”

Great white sharks among the deadliest

According to Bond University shark expert Darryl McPhee, it's “not unusual” for white sharks to hang around the shallows.

“White sharks range all over the ocean from the deep water right into the shoreline so it’s not surprising that they’re there,” he told Yahoo News, describing the shark footage as “lovely”.

“And this shark wasn’t doing much, it was just minding its own business.”

But you can’t ignore the fact that a white shark is among Australia’s deadliest.

“White sharks are one of three sharks responsible for most fatalities and serious injuries, the other two being bull and tiger shark,” McPhee said. Fortunately, juvenile white sharks “mostly eat fish”. That is, until they’ve matured.

“It’s when they get larger that they switch their diet to live or dead marine mammals such as dolphins or particularly whales,” McPhee said.

Until then though, humans should still be wary because even the juveniles “could certainly cause serious injuries”.

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