By Shannon Lane @Shannonroselane
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As the largest predatory fish on Earth, great white sharks can grow to an average of 15 ft in length, though individuals exceeding 20 ft have been recorded.
With abilities to detect one drop of blood in 100 litres, it’s clear to see why film directors have used this enormous fish as a vicious predator in Hollywood blockbusters.
Wildlife and nature photographer, Brad Leue, was undeterred by the great white’s false reputation, and jumped at the chance to dive with them off The Neptune Islands, South Australia.
He said: “Great whites are often associated with fear and negativity, but for me having been lucky enough to spend some time under the surface with these creatures, they are something to be truly respected and cherished."
Despite its large size, the great white is surprisingly majestic deep underneath the water - using its powerful tail to smoothly direct its swimming, and it’s recognisable fin for balance.
The Australian photographer said: “At the surface, the sharks seem to be a lot more sporadic, almost in hunt mode, whilst on the bottom they appear to be a lot more relaxed and coast through the water with grace and elegance.”
With a conservation status of ‘vulnerable’, the great white’s main threat is man. These breathtaking animals are decreasing in numbers due to trophy fishing, and being caught as bycatch by large commercial fisheries.
This is the reason why many shark devotees, including Brad Leue, want to raise awareness of the truth behind these powerful, and mesmerising, fish.
He said: “Seeing the beauty of this apex predator thriving in its natural environment is an experience like no other.
“When you are in their waters were they gather, interact and hunt, you get to see how majestic and special these creatures truly are.”