Angry mako shark attacks fishing boat in defense of dolphin kill

Anglers searching for tuna off Southern California on Saturday came across half of a dolphin carcass, and when they pulled up for a closer look, a large mako shark attacked their boat.

Mako shark bites fishing boat off Dana Point.

“High Priority’s going down!” one of the anglers says, jokingly, in one of two videos showing the bizarre encounter. (Warning: The videos contain profanity.)

The anglers were fishing 6 miles off Dana Point, in Orange County. The videos were posted by Protocol Sport Fishing. Protocol spokesman Alex Rogers, who was not aboard but is friends with the anglers, told GrindTV that they were searching for tuna with binoculars when they spotted the dolphin carcass.

The mako shark surfaced and, seemingly, bit High Priority’s stern in defense of its kill. The dolphin appears to have been severed with a single bite.

“It’s possible,” Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at California State University – Long Beach, said via email. “Big makos are certainly capable of taking down sea lions and other pinnipeds, but a healthy dolphin would be a challenge. This one might have been sick or injured, making it a bit easier a target.”

Lowe added, “Fishers have been seeing a lot more big makos in our waters, which is a good sign of population recovery. One attraction for makos is likely the abundance of marine mammals.”

When asked if any of the High Priority anglers tried to bait the mako shark with a fishing rod, Rogers answered no, adding, “The beast grabbed the dolphin carcass and disappeared into the blue.”

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