‘The feeling was magical’: Fishermen spot hundreds of dolphins leaping through English channel

Two lucky fishermen had an awe-inspiring encounter when they spotted a "superpod" of hundreds of dolphins on December 6, just off the coast of Sussex in the English Channel.

Jake Davison, who recorded the video, told FOX Television Stations that he and his companion had been out fishing for a few hours when they "spotted a huge commotion."

"We saw huge amounts of dolphins jumping, chasing and swimming together, and before we knew it, we were in the middle of the pod," he recalled. "They put on a huge display for us, and the feeling was magical. We felt privileged to be in such an occurrence." 

In this footage, dolphins are seen leaping above the water’s surface around Davison’s boat, creating a mesmerizing sea spectacle.

Dolphins spotted by fishermen on December 6, 2023. (Credit: Muscle Fishing via Storyful)

"The whole event will stay with us for life, and each time I experience dolphins it’s a pleasure to have seen it, and you feel like you have witnessed a bit of the natural world’s magic," he continued. 

According to the Sussex Dolphin Project, superpods usually form when there is high prey abundance in the area. The organization said Davison reported high concentrations of pelagic fish (mackerel, herring, scad), which school in large numbers at this time of year.

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They also noted that pelagic fish are a target for supertrawlers – huge fishing vessels capable of harvesting thousands of tonnes of fish in a single expedition.

The project said that supertrawlers are currently fishing in the area, putting this pod of dolphins directly in their path. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles. Storyful contributed.