A great white shark, estimated to be more than 6 metres in length, was spotted and filmed near St. Andrews on Monday evening.
The large fish was filmed with its fin cresting the ocean surface for over a minute by those aboard the St. Andrews sport fishing vessel the Sea Fox.
"It was phenomenal," said Nicole Leavitt, the company's senior biologist.
"We saw this huge fin sticking up out of the water. So we slowed down and edged in a little bit closer and got a really good look at a 15 – 17 foot long great white shark," said Leavitt.
Leavitt has been tagging sharks for years with her family's company, which does sport fishing and whale watching. When sharks are reeled in, they are tagged with satellite technology and released unharmed, in order to map shark migration.
The research project normally tags much smaller porbeagle or mako sharks.
"It was huge," said Leavitt. "The back across it was four to five feet across at least. And an average 15 foot great white shark can be up to 5000 plus pounds. It's a big shark."
Leavitt said the Sea Fox wasn't equipped for shark tagging during Monday's expedition, so the great white wasn't tagged.
"Unfortunately no," said Leavitt. "We didn't get a tag on that guy. We were coming in from sport fishing so we didn't have any of our shark gear with us. But maybe in the future. We're definitely going to try," said Leavitt.
Leavitt said she and her Sea Fox crew will head out on Wednesday with the intention of relocating and tagging the great white during the morning, but admits they may not find the large fish which is rarely spotted in the area.
"That can be a once in a lifetime encounter," said Leavitt. "Absolutely a once in a lifetime encounter."