More than a dozen great white sharks have been captured on an underwater camera off the coast of California.

The sharks were spotted in Long Beach by towboat captains Ricky Birks and Mike Del Grande, who were towing broken down vessels in the area.

Recent shark sightings off the Californian coast inspired the pair to try and capture the creatures on film.

Using GoPro cameras, strapped to the bottom of their boat, Birks and Grande shot footage of around 13 sharks swimming just 50 feet from the shore.

The curious school of sharks can be seen swimming inches away from the camera.

Long Beach Fire Department has said it has received numerous reports of shark sightings near the peninsula.

"The level of confirmed shark activity this spring is consistent with what was observed by the Marine Safety Division in the spring of 2016. "We estimate that 10-20 juvenile sharks swim in the waters off Peninsula beach daily," the department said, adding warning signs had been posted near the water's edge to alert the public.

"To date, Marine Safety personnel have not observed any aggressive behavior by sharks in Long Beach. From our observations, the sharks' interest in Long Beach is tied to a thriving aquatic ecosystem in the Long Beach Harbour."

Great White Shark
Numerous shark sightings have been reported off the California coast Wikimedia Commons