From tiny microscopic plants and animals, to the largest fish. Everything in our ocean is connected. As is every being on our beautiful blue planet.

Covering over 70% of the earth’s surface, the ocean contains a series of dynamic and varied ecosystems. The health of which is dependent on a complex network of interactions between all the plants and animals that call it home.

Each species is precious and plays a key role in keeping our oceans healthy and teeming with life.

To celebrate World Oceans Day (8 June) we're showcasing 5 extraordinary connections between sharks and other marine species:

  1. BANDED SEASNAKES: Without banded seasnakes baby Zebra Sharks would have a much lower survival rate. Born dark brown with white stripes they mimic these venomous snakes. They even move in a snake-like way! This makes any potential predators think twice about eating them.

  2. GREEN TURTLES: The connection Tiger Sharks and Green Turtles share helps protect seagrass. A vital source of food and shelter for many animals. Green Turtles are voracious grazers of seagrass but, when they see a patrolling Tiger Shark, they'll quickly move on. By avoiding Tiger Sharks, the turtles are prevented from overgrazing all the seagrass in one area.

  3. PILOT FISH: Larger sharks, such as the Whale Shark and Oceanic Whitetip, are often accompanied by pilot fish. This relationship is a mutualistsic one. In exchange for food and protection, pilot fish look after their guardian by keeping them parasite free. These welcome travelling companions are very particular when choosing which shark to follow.

  4. PLANKTON: Filter feeding sharks (Basking Shark, Whale Shark and the rare Megamouth) are reliant on plankton to sustain them. These mighty giants wouldn't exist without these microscopic plants and animals. Equipped with a large mouth and huge gills, these specialist feeders trap and filter these little critters from the water. Plankton is also responsible for much of the oxygen we all breathe!

  5. COPEPODS: Greenland Sharks have a very unusual relationship with a parasite. Many are found with copepods attached to their eyes, which render them partially or completely blind. But, despite this, their relationship is actually thought to be mutually beneficial. Often living in deep dark water, sight isn't all that important to a Greenland Shark. And, being bio-luminescent, these organisms are believed to help attract prey to the shark.

Want to discover more about sharks?

You can find out more amazing facts in our Discover Sharks section. Or sign up as a Shark Trust member to receive a copy of our bi-annual magazine – Shark Focus!