Sailfish cooperate, sometimes for several hours, to turn unwieldy prey into a manageable meal. They have been clocked at 68 miles per hour running speed — underwater. They shoot in from all sides with their sails up and flashing iridescent colours as they get up close. They communicate with one another through pulses of pigment. Once a ball of bait is under control, the sailfish take turns shooting through it, heads whipping side to side as they use their bills to bat sardines with remarkable precision. Pursuers then nab stunned fish before they can escape. Typically they will consume every last one just leaving glimmering scales….
“Sailfish must be the most graceful, powerful, elegant and beautiful hunters in the underwater world. I had the incredible experience to witness 50-75 of these incredible fish working co-operatively leaving their prey absolutely no chance. A huge bait ball of thousands of sardines was consumed in less than 45 minutes. This type of collaborative behaviour was thought to be the preserve of cetaceans but clearly sailfish are highly intelligent and social.”