Socorro is amid a marine life renaissance. From one lucky dive group having a whale shark tag along for an entire dive, to the sheer volume of biomass showing up, our dive masters have been reporting better marine life experiences than ever. We’re not sure the exact reason why, however seeing such a monumental resurgence in the ocean is providing a beacon of light during so much global uncertainty. While we didn’t think we could top some of the most recent marine encounters, our dive masters have just reported a David Attenborough worthy wildlife encounter, the likes of which we’ve never seen before: a silky shark feeding frenzy…
A Silky Shark Feeding Frenzy
Our lucky divers secured a front row seat to a silky shark feeding frenzy. A bait ball of fish had gathered beneath our zodiac seeking protection against some 200 silky sharks out in the blue, forming the center of a bait ball feeding frenzy. While there was an accidental nip of our zodiac by one overzealous predator, our inflatables have five compartments so the loss of one is okay. After patching the hole, our inflatable was good as new, and our divers got to experience one of the world’s most incredible marine encounters in Socorro.
What Causes a Shark Feeding Frenzy?
Shoals of fish will often cruise together at the ocean’s surface to feed on plankton, forming schools as a form of protection. However, when a predator (such as a shark) comes across these shoals, the fish send out a distress signal. Scientists believe predators can sense these distress signals and so are able to seek out the buffet. A solitary shark attack will often fail as the fish are able to disperse, however, when a hunting party gathers to draw the fish into a tighter ball, the fish are unable to escape and so become a buffet ripe for the taking.
A Silky Shark Feeding Frenzy
Silky sharks are opportunistic predators, and good feeding opportunities – say, a huge bait ball of fish – can draw in huge numbers of these sharks. The silkies will aggregate to draw the fish towards the surface, packing them into a tight ball before plucking them off in a frenzy.
Shark Diving in Socorro
While this rare encounter was witnessed during the day, silky sharks are usually most active at night. On any one of our Socorro liveaboards, guests can go night snorkeling under a floodlight light to witness these hunters on the prowl – it is a truly extraordinary experience.
Aside from silky sharks, nine other species of shark are known the patrol the Revillagigedo Archipelago – including scalloped hammerheads, Galapagos, oceanic white tip, silver tip, black tip, bull, tiger, whale sharks, and, on occasion deep dwelling thresher sharks. El Boiler, around San Benedicto island, and Roca Partida are two of our favorite sites for shark diving; divers can witness any one of the ten species, from hundreds of schooling scalloped hammerheads to solitary tiger sharks.
Want to witness a shark feeding frenzy? Get in touch to plan your liveaboard trip and experience some of the world’s best shark diving in Socorro.
Image credit: silky shark at night, Lluís Masuet