A 255-lb ‘apex predator’ mako shark is lingering off NC’s Outer Banks

A 255-pound mako shark that is nearly 7-feet long has spent the past week off the North Carolina coast, prowling along the Outer Banks. Makos are defined as apex predators and can get up to 1,000 pounds.

Tracking by researchers last showed the shark in the waters off Corolla Friday, Feb. 9, at 4:41 p.m. It first pinged off North Carolina in mid December and has lately been moving north along the Outer Banks, according to OCEARCH.

The shark, a male named Yinzer, was tagged in November by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He has traveled nearly 4,000 miles since being tagged off Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

It is 6-feet, 10-inches long and currently weighs about as much as the average refrigerator. Makos can grow up to 12-feet long, according to the University of Florida. They are considered the fastest of sharks, clocking speeds of 20 mph. Makos are currently listed as a vulnerable species, due to its popularity with sport fishing, says the university.

They are aggressive alpha predators (also known as apex predators) and have the ability to jump out of the water.

“The short fin mako’s power, aggressiveness, teeth and great speed, make it a danger to humans,” says the Florida Museum of Natural History. “Short fin makos have been blamed for a number of nonfatal and fatal attacks on humans. Divers who have encountered short fin makos note that they swim in a figure eight pattern and approach with mouths open prior to an attack. Short fin makos frequently damage boats and injure fishers after being hooked.”

OCEARCH is a recognized world leader in generating scientific data related to tracking and biological studies of keystone marine species such as great white and tiger sharks, in conjunction with conservation outreach and education at a measurable global scale.