Millions Of Anchovies Make Rare Appearance At Scripps Pier

ScrippsOceanographyPublished: August 14, 2014Updated: August 15, 2014230,223 views
Published: August 14, 2014Updated: August 15, 2014

Fish travel through their whole life, most of them in search for food, while the other part in search for shelter.

Anchovies are small, green fish with blue reflections that range from 0.79 to 15.75 inches in adult length, usually used as baitfish. These small fishes are found in scattered areas throughout the world's oceans, but are concentrated in temperate waters. Large schools of anchovies can be found in shallow waters with muddy bottoms. They are considered to be filter-feeders that open their mouths as they swim so that food particles can be sieved by gill rakers and transferred into the esophagus.

All of these characteristics mean that these fish gather in shallow waters where they can easily find food. An aggregation of anchovy amassed near Scripps Pier at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego in La Jolla, California in July 2014.

In this footage you can see a large number of anchovies swimming in the bay. Authought at first it looks like a beachside oil spill or maybe tons and algae, the black spot is moving around and there’s thousands and thousands of fish. It was unclear why the school came so close to shore, but as one of the students noted, the offshore waters in the area, have recently been warming more rapidly than the water inshore, possibly driving the anchovies closer to the beach.They were obviously looking for food, so graduate students Julia Fiedler, Sean Crosby and Bonnie Ludka decided to go into the water and film these small creatures that amazed everyone present at that time. Graduate students and surfers swam near the traveling fish to take video and to gather samples.

The entire swarm was approximately 10 feet deep, 100 meters from inshore to offshore, and was almost one mile long. What an impressive video this is!

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