Fisherman Shocked after Reeling in Swordfish Covered in Strange Round Holes

While fishing in Australia’s Coral Sea, Captain T.K. Walker and his crew came across an unusual site—after hauling a large swordfish out of the water, they noticed its body was covered in dozens of oval holes, as if it had been attacked by a cookie cutter.

“I have never seen an attack like that before in 40 years of doing this,” Walker told Newsweek.

The attacker in question was almost certainly a cookiecutter shark, or rather a whole team of them. “Must’ve been a pack attack, they made more than a snack out of him that’s for sure,” Walker said.

Cookie cutter sharks are a small, cigar-shaped species that rarely exceed 1.5 feet in length, according to the Shark Research Institute. The species can be found in the tropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this species is its unusual feeding strategy. The underside of the cookie cutter shark is lined with tiny light-producing organs called photophores. These produce a greenish glow on the underside of the shark, which they use to lure other fish.

swordfish was covered in perfect, round holes that were fresh from a recent attack. It’s rare to see a fish with so many fresh bites.
Their teeth are also unusual: up to 37 tiny teeth line their upper jaw while their lower jaw boasts larger triangular teeth that are connected at the base, like a large cookie cutter. After luring in their prey, the sharks attach themselves with their sucking lips and pointy upper teeth, then spin their body 360 degrees to remove a cookie-shaped chunk of flesh.

In this way, the small sharks are able to take on much larger fish species, like tuna, swordfish, dolphins and other sharks.

“They race in while the fish is cruising along and just bite a chunk of meat out and b***** off again before the larger fish can react,” Walker said. “I would imagine it would be like mosquitoes buzzing around for the large swordfish and tuna.”

Walker said that, in the Coral Sea, these sharks are fairly common: “We see these bites daily and often the fish will have 3 or 4 fresh bites and plenty of healed or semi healed bites.”

However, it is rare to see a fish with so many fresh bites. “The fish was still alive when we bought it onboard and the bites were still bleeding so it had just happened as we hauled the fish in,” Walker said.

Walker shared the video of the swordfish to his social media and YouTube pages, TK Offshore Fishing. The post has been viewed over 800,000 times on Facebook.

“That’s insane TK,” said one user.

“Well, that’s how the cookie crumbles,” said another.

Cookie cutter sharks pack attack swordfish on the line