RELATED CONTENT: Shark sighting closes Warilla beach
Rare footage has been captured of a shark feeding off a dead whale just metres from a popular South Coast holiday beach.
Sharks had been circling South Broulee and three neighbouring beaches after a humpback whale died near the coast this week.
The whale drew sharks, which in turn drew hundreds of onlookers who gathered on the rocks around the beach to catch a glimpse of some of the ocean's apex predators in action.
Michael James captured footage of one tearing into the whale by attaching his waterproof Go-Pro camera to a Go-Pro rod and submerging it next to a bobbing shark tail.
The South Broulee sighting is just one of several in NSW this summer.
Chris Neff, a shark management policy researcher and lecturer at the University of Sydney, said it was unlikely more sharks were about and instead attributed growing concerns to recent sightings in Sydney, which meant more attention was being paid to shark incidents.
Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach was closed twice this week and three times in November after sightings of sharks several metres long.
In December, a fisherman filmed a 2.5-metre great white shark in Lake Macquarie near Newcastle.
On Thursday, Wollongong lifeguards spotted three mature hammerhead sharks off the coast near the Wollongong Golf Club, just metres from the popular surf beach.
Surfing instructor Nick Squires was teaching a group of children including his own eight-year-old son to surf when he saw the shark doing laps of the beach.
"I had just pushed my son on to a wave, and probably about three metres away from me on the inside of me, it was at least seven foot, a little shark just cruised past me," Mr Squires told ABC Radio.
"I yelled out to the kids and, as soon as it sensed I'd seen it, it went really fast out to sea. If it was there to be sinister it had every opportunity to be."
Similar sharks were also spotted this week around Shellharbour, near Warilla Beach and the Windang-Port Kembla bight.
Dr Neff said it was important to keep in mind that most interactions between humans and sharks did not result in a shark attack, and that most shark attacks were not fatal.
He recommended anyone who saw a shark while swimming should maintain eye contact while trying to get back to shore as quickly as possible.
"Sharks are opportunistic biters so you don't want to do anything that gives them the opportunity, like turn around and swim away," Dr Neff said. "You want to keep eye contact and let it know you've seen it."
He said it would take less than a week for swimmers to be back at beaches even after an attack.
"In 2009, Sydney's shark summer, even with a bite at Bondi, beach attendance was up 23 per cent on the year before."
South Broulee and neighbouring beaches were expected to reopen at 9am Saturday.
SOURCE: Illawarra Mercury