Natural Wonders

Diving with aggressive sevengill sharks

Divers capture rare footage of a group of increasingly aggressive sevengill sharks in the waters of Fiordland

Our Big Blue Backyard is one of New Zealand's most celebrated and discussed TV series, produced by the world-renowned NHNZ - formerly Natural History New Zealand - based in Dunedin.

Newsroom is featuring some of the top moments from this incredible show, including behind-the-scenes interviews with underwater cinematographer Kina Scollay, and NHNZ executive producer Judith Curran.

“Sevengill sharks love the dark deep waters of Fiordland but as is often the way on a wildlife shoot we had trouble finding any until one of the last days on location. It was a really shallow cove and there were at least four sharks in the water together. They were huge (over 3 metres and 100 kgs each) and we surmised they were pregnant females who often give birth in shallow waters. Myself and Ross Funnell spent around 40 minutes in the water getting excellent footage but the sharks became more and more aggressive, swimming into us and bumping the camera, so I had to make the call to abort the dive as their body language told me a bite could be next on the agenda.”

 Kina Scollay                                                                                                                        Underwater cinematographer

NHNZ series Our Big Blue Backyard was made for TV One with the help of NZ on Air

We recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to sustain and expand LockerRoom, our section dedicated to covering New Zealand women in sport. We created LockerRoom to fill a gap in sports journalism, sharing inspirational, compelling and important stories that would otherwise go untold. To join our team as a supporter, simply click the red button.


Newsroom does not allow comments directly on this website. We invite all readers who wish to discuss a story or leave a comment to visit us on Twitter or Facebook. We also welcome your news tips and feedback via email: Thank you.