Why Do Fish Swim With Sharks: What Type, How, And Several Facts

Fishes and sharks are among the two most important aquatic species. Allow us to tell you more about them. 

As some of you already know, fishes swim with sharks because they rely on these sharks to derive their food. Small fishes, in particular, greatly benefit from the sharks and frequently consume the scraps left behind by them. As such, these fishes help keep the ocean water clean for the shark. In turn, sharks protect these small fishes from predators. 

Today, we will take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about fishes and why they swim with sharks.

Do fish swim with sharks?

Fishes and sharks are gorgeous marine species with unique requirements. Let us figure out if fishes swim with sharks.

There are certain fish varieties that swim with sharks. The ocean is a vast place with various types of animals moving around. Although sharks are extremely dangerous, the good news is that small fishes are very small for the sharks to see or catch. Besides, they are agile and can move around swiftly, so the sharks cannot catch them. 

Image credits: “Common Remora” by Tim Sheerman-Chase is marked with CC BY 2.0.

As such, fishes swim beside and around the shark as they navigate through tumultuous oceans and help maintain balance in the aquatic ecosystem. 

How do small fish swim with sharks?

Have you ever wondered how small fishes manage to swim with sharks? Allow us to break it down for you.

Small fishes swim around and beside sharks in the ocean. Although the idea may sound ridiculous since sharks are ferocious and large animals, the truth is they do not have the same speed or agility as small fishes. Therefore, it becomes difficult for sharks to catch small fishes, and they continue to swim around them.

Of course, swimming around sharks can be dangerous for any ordinary marine creature, but small fishes manage to do so since sharks are generally sloppy eaters.

What are the fishes that swim with sharks?

Image credits: “Remora and shark” by exfordy is marked with CC BY 2.0


There are several fishes in the ocean that swim side by side with sharks. Let us learn more about them.

Remoras and pilot fishes are the two most common fish species that swim with sharks. Not just sharks, these fishes also attach themselves to other aquatic animals and swim with them. This is because they greatly benefit these creatures in several ways by cleaning the water around them and removing parasites.

Since they swim around, the sharks, remoras and pilot fishes are greatly protected from probable predators. Thus, it is a mutualistic relationship where both parties benefit greatly.

Why do sharks not eat remora fish?

One of the most intriguing aspects about sharks is despite their fierce and predatory nature, they do not eat remora fishes. Let us understand why.

Sharks do not eat remora fishes because they greatly benefit from them. They eat any parasites or scraps that might surround the water that the sharks move in and, therefore, creates a healthy environment around the shark. In turn, sharks offer them sufficient protection from potential predators, and they can move around the ocean with ease.

Sharks and remora fishes have become quite interdependent on one another. Together, they help maintain balance in the aquatic ecosystem. 

Why do small fish swim with sharks?

You must be curious to know why small fishes swim with sharks, despite the danger that comes with it. Allow us to tell you more in this regard.

Small fishes swim with sharks to derive nourishment from them. This may sound ridiculous, but it is true. Small fishes feed on scraps and parasites that surround the shark and, therefore, help keep the water around them clean. They also clean the leftovers on the shark’s teeth. In turn, sharks protect them from predators.

Small fishes swimming beside and around the shark may look like a dangerous proposition, but the truth is that it is quite beneficial to both species.

Why do pilot fish swim with sharks?

Ever wondered why pilot fishes swim with sharks? Allow us to tell you more on this topic.

Pilot fishes swim with sharks to protect themselves from potential predators and find suitable food for themselves. Sharks often leave behind scraps of food or have food particles stuck between their teeth, which these fishes feed on. Besides, they remove parasites from the ocean and help the shark swim in clean water.

Thus, while the pilots gain required protection from large oceanic animals, the sharks get a clean environment to be in. As such, it is a win-win situation for both the sharks and fishes.

Do sharks protect pilot fish?

Are you wondering whether sharks go out of their way to protect pilot fishes? Let us tell you all about it.

Sharks protect pilot fishes, although they don’t do so intentionally. Sharks do not attack pilot fishes because they are far too small and quick. Therefore, they swim away before sharks can catch them. Sharks rely on pilot fishes to remove the parasites around them and the scraps of food from their teeth. In turn, they protect the sharks from predators. 

The relationship between sharks and pilot fishes is considered to be extremely mutualistic. Both these animals benefit from the presence of the other.

What attracts more sharks?

Have you ever been curious to know what attracts more sharks? Allow us to tell you all about it.

Sharks are attracted by numerous things, including colors such as silver, yellow, and white. This is why divers often paint fins, clothing, and tanks in these colors so that sharks are attracted to them. In addition, sharks are also attracted to blood, and they become quite aggressive and eager to attack once they spot blood.

We must mention here that sharks often also mistake shiny objects for fish fins, which is why divers paint items with silver color to create that illusion in sharks.

What repels sharks?

Image credits: “Shark” by steve.garner32 is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Needless to say, there are certain things that sharks are absolutely repelled by. Allow us to tell you more about it.

Sharks absolutely despise the smell of rotting carcasses. Since sharks have a strong sense of smell, they move away quickly when they get a rotting scent. In addition, there are also man-made repellents like magnetic or electronic repellents that can keep sharks at bay and are used by divers when they venture out into the ocean.


Sharks and fishes have a very complex dynamic. While on the one hand, all varieties of sharks extensively feed on fish. On the other hand, fishes greatly benefit the sharks in many ways and help retain the balance of the aquatic ecosystem. They remove parasites and scraps from in and around the sharks, thereby ensuring that the ocean water remains clean and inhabitable for the sharks. In turn, sharks offer them sufficient protection against possible predators.


I am Sehrish , I love writing about animals. I like exploring the different aspects of the animal kingdom and aim to present the information to the readers in an interesting, easy-to-read format. The world of animals is full of undiscovered, intriguing facts and stories and there is nothing I enjoy more than delving deeper into it.

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