TERRIFYING footage of a mega shark attacking a tiny boat in New Zealand waters is making fresh waves online.
Two people were on the inflatable craft filming for documentary Lair of the Megashark, which screened on Discovery Channel last year, when they had the frightening encounter.
A voice can be heard on the video saying: "I don't think this is such a brilliant f****** idea you know ... I don't think we can have a boat in there. I really don't."
It is understood the footage was shot in the near Picton last year.
But a United Kingdom-based shark expert said predator wasn't being aggressive - it only wanted to get hold of bait being towed by the boat before getting tangled in a rope.
Richard Pierce told the Mail Online the bait would have attacked the shark to the boat, but the shark wouldn't have been expecting a boat.
"It would have come across the scene and come up to get a meal," he said.
"It initially gets caught in the line and tried to free itself and rocks the boat. It's absolutely not right to say the shark is attacking the boat."
Images from the footage were posted online earlier this year by a group that claims the shark-cage-diving industry is causing the predators to associate boats and humans with food.
They are attempting to get the practise banned - however, experts say it is unlikely to be the reason for increased great white shark activity.
Stories abound among locals of sharks bumping vessels, biting buoys and stealing their catch - behaviour they say wasn't present a decade ago.
A Picton fisherman, Richard Squires, told NZME at the time he had been attacked twice.
"A shark came up and bit a buoy on the stern of the vessel, it came charging out of the water with its mouth open," he said.
Squires is not a member of the protest group but also believes the sharks were comfortable around boats because of the cage-diving.
Last year the Department of Conservation (DoC) granted permits to two cage-diving operators - Shark Experience and Shark Dive New Zealand. Strict conditions include a ban on feeding the sharks and using decoys, controls on commercial filming and restricting the practice to Edwards Island, some 10km off the coast of Stewart Island.
Fast shark facts:
• Huge great white sharks congregate around Stewart Island in late summer to feed on seals.
• Famed shark expert Jeff Kurr believes they are among the largest anywhere on earth.
• Kurr and his team caged dived with the sharks and found them to be very aggressive.
• Despite research making gains in the past few years, very little is known about New Zealand's great white shark population.
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