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


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

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.

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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.

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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.


Q: Why do fish swim with sharks?

A: Fish swim with sharks for various reasons. One of the main reasons is the benefit they receive from the shark’s presence. Fish can stay close to the shark, using it as protection from predators. Additionally, some fish feed off the parasites on the shark’s skin, providing a cleaning service in exchange for safety.

Q: What type of fish swim alongside sharks?

A: There are several types of fish that swim alongside sharks. One example is the pilot fish, which are often seen swimming near larger fish like sharks. These little fish have developed a symbiotic relationship with sharks, where they receive protection and leftover food scraps in return for cleaning the shark’s body.

Q: Do fish swim with sharks to benefit from the shark’s body?

A: Yes, fish swim with sharks to benefit from the shark’s body. Some fish, like the pilot fish, feed off the parasites and dead skin cells on the shark’s skin, helping to keep it clean. By doing so, the fish have a reliable source of food and the shark benefits from improved hygiene.

Q: What are the benefits of swimming with sharks?

A: Swimming with sharks provides several benefits for fish. One major benefit is protection. By swimming alongside sharks, smaller fish can deter potential predators, as sharks are higher up the food chain. Additionally, fish can also benefit from food scraps and leftovers that sharks may leave behind, ensuring a consistent food source.

Q: How do fish keep the shark clean when swimming alongside?

A: Fish, such as the pilot fish, keep the shark clean by feeding off the parasites and dead skin cells that accumulate on the shark’s body. This cleaning process benefits both the fish and the shark, as the fish receive a food source, and the shark enjoys improved hygiene.

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Q: What species of sharks do fish commonly swim alongside?

A: Fish commonly swim alongside various species of sharks. Some examples include the white shark, tiger shark, and hammerhead shark. These sharks often attract other marine life, such as fish, due to their size and position in the food chain.

Q: Why do pilot fish follow ships?

A: Pilot fish are known to follow ships due to the opportunities they provide. Ships create a disturbance in the water, which can stir up smaller prey for the pilot fish. By following the ship, the fish have a chance to feed and benefit from the ship’s movement.

Q: Do fish swim along with sea turtles too?

A: Yes, fish can swim along with sea turtles as well. Sea turtles are another large marine species that attracts smaller fish due to their presence. This relationship benefits the fish, as they have a reliable food source, and the sea turtles benefit from a cleaning service.

Q: How do fish benefit from swimming alongside sharks?

A: Fish benefit from swimming alongside sharks in several ways. As mentioned earlier, fish can find protection from predators, have a consistent food source, and even receive a cleaning service. These benefits allow fish to thrive in environments where sharks are present.

Q: What is the symbiotic relationship between fish and sharks?

A: The symbiotic relationship between fish and sharks is a mutually beneficial one. Fish receive protection and access to food sources by swimming alongside sharks, while the sharks benefit from cleaner bodies and potential assistance in hunting or defending against other predators.

Q: Do all fish that swim with sharks have a symbiotic relationship?

A: No, not all fish that swim with sharks have a symbiotic relationship. While some fish like the pilot fish have developed a beneficial relationship with sharks, others may simply swim alongside sharks for protection without providing any direct benefits in return.


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.

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