Dusky sharks at Challenger Banks. *Photo by Choy Aming
Dusky sharks at Challenger Banks. *Photo by Choy Aming

WEDNESDAY, JULY 20: Frightening or enlightening? It depends where you’re sitting.

Even shark researcher Choy Aming admits his pulse raced a little as he recorded incredible never-before-seen footage of a school of dusky sharks ‘hunting’ in a pack off Challenger Banks.

In a three-minute-clip, edited for the Bermuda Sun and shown on our website today, the sharks can be seen taking turns to ‘attack’ a marlin head, used as bait.

Mr Aming estimates there were as many as 50 sharks in the school, each between three and five feet in size.

He said the footage provided heartening evidence that wild creatures still flourished in the deep ocean off Bermuda’s coast.

But he said swimmers and snorkellers need not be afraid. The film was recorded 14 miles off shore, with the aid of bait to attract the sharks.

Regular beachgoers are unlikely to encounter sharks at all in Bermuda.

“This is the first time I have seen anything like that and I’m out on the water constantly,” said filmmaker Mr Aming, who is also part of the Bermuda Shark Project.

He added:  “I had heard about the roaming “pack” of dusky sharks from fisherman and figured it was a legend.

“Well, here they are. We don’t believe it is a school that is constantly together but under certain conditions dusky sharks seem to hunt in a group.”

He said the sharks were quite aggressive, bumping him, the camera and the boat’s engines, as they took turns to tear into the bait.

The first part of the film was recorded in the water, the second part from the boat with a camera held underwater from the boat’s swim-platform.

“At first there were three duskies circling the marlin head, They were keyed up and were bumping it and bumping us. I got hold of one of the smaller ones and flipped it over and pushed it down and away from us. At that point I saw about 50 sharks below.”

Mr Aming along with Neil Burnie and the Bermuda Shark Project volunteers have been tagging and filming sharks off Bermuda for the past four years.

This is the first time they have observed any species of shark in such significant numbers.