INVERCARGILL (New Zealand)- With summer starting down under, scientists warn that New Zealanders face an influx of great white shark sightings in the coming months, as the warmer sea temperatures bring sharks and swimmers together.

Great white sharks have already been spotted in New Zealand’s waters. A Kiwi surfer told Newshub he was surfing near Invercargill when he spotted a great white about two-and-a-half to three metres from fin to tail.

La Niña

According to scientists of the Department of Conservation there is a global shift happening, with marine species moving either poleward or into deeper water to maintain their temperatures. As for sharks, warm water species may increase whereas cold water species decline.

La Nina climate systems mean there are less storms, which churn up the ocean and reduce temperatures. This will increase the chances Kiwis will spot a shark off our coast.

Read also: Will climate change lead also to more shark attacks?

The last fatal shark attack in New Zealand was in 2013 at Auckland’s Muriwai Beach, when a man was attacked by a 4m long great white shark.

Shark sightings

“There may be more sightings of rare tropical or subtropical species,” says shark expert Clinton Duffy to Newshub. “We may see more sightings of whale sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks, devil rays, and possibly manta rays around the coast of New Zealand. We may also see – depending if we see north-easterly conditions – we may see more things like the big game fish, like mako sharks, tuna and marlin.”

Read more at Newshub.