'Curious' great white shark plays with Massey University underwater camera

Massey university scientists have been left buzzing after finding a great white shark played with their camera in underwater footage.

A team of scientists were using a Baited Remote Underwater Video camera to trawl the bottom of the ocean and survey marine life.

The plan was to use the camera to measure fish biodiversity near the Kermadec Islands - but it was discovered by the great white.

The shark swam up to the camera and gave it a few bites, before hauling the entire camera kit to the surface and dropping it back to the sea floor three times until it lost interest.

Massey Scientist Dr Adam Smith led the project, and says that the footage was a surprise to researchers.

"When the gear is on the seabed, we don't have a live feed so we have no idea what we're going to see when we review the footage at the end of the day.

"Getting the great white at the end of the trip was a definitely a highlight though, especially considering they've only been recorded at the Kermadecs a few times before."    

Dr Smith says while the results of the project are interesting, it was disheartening to see fewer sharks at some of the locations they visited, possibly due to overfishing.