Great White Sharks dorsal fin breaks the surface as it lunges over the water
The classic jaws scene of a dorsal fin slicing through the waves is something you actually very rarely see with Great White Sharks! It does occasionally occur (quite exciting to see when it does) and usually there is a reason for it. More often than not the shark is already in chase of prey just below the surface. It can also be for more nefarious reasons such as ghost gear tangled around the shark in some way. As an apex predator that hunts prey at or just below the surface a gigantic dorsal fin sticking above the water is a beacon to all its potential prey that they are there. Not ideal when stealth and speed are your greatest weapons. Great White Sharks have incredible spacial awareness when it comes to their dorsal fins, they quite often manage to travel for prolonged distances with their dorsal fin inches below the surface. This gives them the advantage of remaining undetected whilst allowing them to see any potential prey just above the surface.
This video was taken at Seal Island in Mossel Bay a harbour town on the Garden Route in South Africa’s Western Cape Province. You can see other similar behaviour in some of the other clips on the channel.
In the video you see the sub-adult Great White Shark approach the bait from below lunging over the surface away from the camera before swiftly disappearing below. As you can see the sharks dorsal fin is a huge flag that can be seen from large distances away. When the shark has had an attempt at the bait it doesn't waste any time getting below the surface again. The shark is incredible agile and can often reset, taking another attempt within seconds, a great skill to have when predating on agile prey such as Cape Fur Seals.