South Carolina

Predator known as ‘race car of sharks’ spotted in Lowcountry waters

Shortfin makos are known for their speed and aggressiveness.
Shortfin makos are known for their speed and aggressiveness. NOAA

An ocean predator known as the “race car of sharks” has been spotted circling in Lowcountry waters.

Matt J, a shortfin mako shark that was originally tagged in Maryland, has made his way down the east coast and has been hanging out around the South Carolina coast since January, the Post and Courier reports.

The 5-foot open-water shark, was spotted Sunday just east of Charleston, about 50 miles offshore, where it’s been circling for a few weeks now.

Shortfin mako sharks typically are encountered far offshore, but this time of the year they are more likely to come close to shore, according to reporting from WJHG.

On Friday, an 11-foot Mako was spotted on the beach of Panama City, Fla.

"They're found further offshore, but this time of the year we do see them closer to shore,” Dr. Carlson of the NOAA Fisheries Service told WJHG.

Carlson said when Makos are spotted closer to the beach, they are following the schools of cobia as they move up into the Panhandle.

Makos are speedy, swimming up to 50 mph, aggressive predators and known for their agile leaping abilities and “jumping to extreme heights” while hunting, according to oceana.org.

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