Tag Archives: Remora

Remora at Maho Bay

Remora at Maho Bay

I always love snorkeling Maho Bay, especially over the seagrass beds. There just about always something interesting to see. This time there was this remora that just swam back and forth along the hull of a big motor cat. Maybe it thought the boat was a whale.

Remoras, sometimes called shark suckers or whale suckers, have special fins near the top of their heads that they use to create suction and they like to use this feature to stick on larger marine animals like wales, sharks, rays and turtles or may even attach to divers or small boats.

Once their attached to something, they can control the amount of suction by sliding either forward or backwards. Backwards increases the suction and forwards releases it. So if one ever attaches itself to you, push it forwards to get it off you.

There is some debate as to the reason that the remora exhibits this behavior. Some say it is to get at leftover pieces of their host’s prey, and others say it is to have a prime location to eat their hosts feces. Both items have been found in remoras stomachs.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Read a cool article about Tony Snell who many might remember from his establishment “The Last Resort” on Belamy Cay.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Erin Hart
6:30 – 9:30

Karaoke Night

High Tide
Chris Carsel
6:00 9:00

Inn at Tamarind Court
Steel Pan

Island Blues

La Tapa
6:30 – 9:30

Morgan’s Mango
Greg Kinslow
6:30 – 9:30

Ocean Grill
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:00

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 81. Southeast wind around 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

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turtle and remoras
Hawksbill turtle and remoras at Honeymoon Bay

Remoras and Sea Turtles
Some cultures use remoras to catch turtles. A cord or rope is fastened to the remora’s tail, and when a turtle is sighted, the fish is released from the boat; it usually heads directly for the turtle and fastens itself to the turtle’s shell, and then both remora and turtle are hauled in. Smaller turtles can be pulled completely into the boat by this method, while larger ones are hauled within harpooning range. This practice has been reported throughout the Indian Ocean, especially from eastern Africa near Zanzibar and Mozambique, and from northern Australia near Cape York and Torres Strait.

Similar reports come from Japan and from the Americas. Some of the first records of the “fishing fish” in the Western literature come from the accounts of the second voyage of Christopher Columbus. However, Leo Wiener considers the Columbus accounts to be apocryphal: what was taken for accounts of the Americas may have been, in fact, notes Columbus derived from accounts of the East Indies, his desired destination…. read more about remoras


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