Great White Or Mako? Shark Video Sparks Controversy

A charter captain from the Gulf Of Mexico is second guessing his decision to release footage of a shark attacking his boat, as a debate has erupted over whether the predator was a great white or a mako, and other fishermen are heading to the gulf in hopes of catching the now-famous fish.

Capt. Scott Fitzgerald filmed the shark attacking his boat’s engine on January 19, just off Panama City Beach. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the shark, thought to be a great white, struck at the motor three separate times, shaking the boat as it did so. The shark eventually drove Fitzgerald from the area, according to Discovery News, yet his clip went viral after it was posted online. Now, the footage has courted controversy from some who claim the shark in question isn’t a great white after all, but rather a mako.

“I can’t be 100-percent sure it’s a great white. It’s hard to tell from the video,” said NOAA’s John Carlson.

A shark researcher with NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries, Carlson noted that great whites and makos are from the same family of sharks, and bear certain similarities. Though white sharks aren’t common in the Gulf, they also aren’t unheard of, and are known to enter the area to feed on newly born marine mammals, according to the Pensacola News-Journal.

“It looks more like a white,” Carlson observed. “They look very similar. It would be easier to tell if we had video from the side rather than looking down from the top.”

Fitzgerald, for his part, asserts that the shark was definitely a great white, citing its skin color. While white sharks possess a dark gray skin, makos exhibit a distinct blue coloration. Some who have viewed the video believe the shark to be blue, and therefore a mako, yet Fitzgerald saw something very different than the camera when he faced the predator from just a few feet away.

“It’s not blue. It’s gray and has triangle teeth,” he asserted. “The water was blue. When it swam under the boat, it looked blue in the video.”

A secondary backlash has also caught Fitzgerald unawares, as some anglers hurry to the gulf in hopes of catching the predator. Fitzgerald is keeping the site of his encounter a secret, however, asserting that he doesn’t want anyone to kill the shark, whether it was a mako or a great white that crossed his path.

[Image: YouTube/ Madfish Charters via the Houston Chronicle]