SHELBURNE, N.S. - Long-time fisherman James Nickerson captured video of a great white shark leaping out of the water to snag a seal on Aug. 20, while he was out fishing.
He was only half a mile from land between Cape Sable Island and Sandhills Beach when he spotted the animals and he posted the video to his Facebook page while still out on the water.
In the video Nickerson can be heard yelling, “there’s a big shark over here . . . I’m going to get closer.”
“For me it’s no big deal,” said Nickerson in an Aug. 22 interview. He has seen plenty of sharks over his years fishing, but Sunday's was the biggest he has spotted.
At first, Nickerson thought it was a mako shark, but a staff member of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans saw the video and they suspected it was a great white.
“They said it was the way the shark came right out of the water to take the seal,” said Nickerson. “If it was a mako, it was the biggest I had ever seen.”
While Nickerson himself didn’t think it was a big deal, has Facebook post had exploded by the time he got to shore a short time later.
By the time he got home, the video had 10,000 views.
“It was unbelievable,” said Nickerson who was more wowed by how many views and attention his video was than actually coming within a few feet of a great white.
Sharks have always been in this area. The only thing that’s changed is social media.
The video has been viewed 86,000 times as of Aug. 22 and shared more than 1,000 times.
Major news agencies have contacted Nickerson for interviews, including the New York Times and the Weather Network. He said his mother was the most worried with him coming alongside a shark in a boat where the shark was bigger.
“Sharks have always been in this area,” said Nickerson. “The only thing that’s changed is social media.”
He said there are always a few sharks that "chase the bait’" of mackerel while the fish are running.
“They aren’t there for the people,” he said.