Inside shark hunting team that’s seen so many sea beasts it gives them all names

A man who has seen more sharks than most humans has told how he gives them nicknames to tell them apart.

Shark enthusiast Scott Fairchild is part of the Shark Lab team and claims he can usually locate one of the beasts within 45 seconds of launching his aircraft.

The American has become infamous for his drone footage showing young sharks swimming in the waters of California.

The expert has given an insight into how he keeps track of the majestic beasts he adores.

He said: “Scar Face has old head wounds, possibly from a boat propeller, while Rudolph has a white nose.

“While the sharks are juveniles, the species carries its ancient allure just the same.

“They’re literally older than time. They’re actual dinosaurs.”

Fairchild, who has 39,000 followers on Instagram, is joined in the team by Yamilla Samara Chacon.

He calls himself the “shark whisperer”.

They make up just a small part of the Shark Lab team run by the University of California.

During long days of searching the coastline for sharks, the group uses drones and sonar tools to find them.

According to USA Today, who spent a day with the group, there has been a five-fold increase in great white shark sightings in the area – defying the odds of most other shark species.

Chris Lowe, the Shark Lab director said: “Even I was a little sceptical.

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“How can a species that everybody says is going down be coming back?

“Thirty years ago, when I first started doing this work, hearing about a white shark along the beach was really rare.

“Until 2018, you very rarely saw juvenile sharks in San Diego, and now they are there daily. To me, this is actually a conservation success story.”

Despite the increase in sharks, Lowe is adamant that they pose no threat to humans swimming in the waters nearby.

“They just don’t care… They’re just big toddlers,” he added.

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