Sunday, July 13, 2014

Massive school of anchovies looks like oil slick

An aggregation of anchovy amassed near Scripps Pier
at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego in La Jolla, Calif. on July 8, 2014.
Footage from Scripps Pier by Scripps staff and underwater
by Scripps graduate students Julia Fiedler, Sean Crosby and Bonnie Ludka.

From Grindtv by David Strege

Appearance of baitfish near shore off La Jolla amazes marine experts, who can’t recall seeing such a sight in more than 30 years 

From a distance, the ocean near Scripps Pier off La Jolla, California, appeared to be the site of a catastrophic oil spill on Tuesday.
Initially, Robert Monroe thought it was a red tide.

 Massive school of anchovies appears to be an oil slick.

But it was neither.
Making a long, dark cloud in the shallow water off San Diego County was a massive school of Northern anchovies the likes of which has not been seen hugging the coast in more than 30 years.
Monroe, a communications officer with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, saw the unusual sight and raced to the pier with a GoPro camera, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“It was remarkable,” Monroe told the Los Angeles Times. “From a distance it looked like an oil slick and you think, ‘What happened?’ and then you get up close and it’s amazing.
“It’s like watching the motion of a lava lamp.”

 A massive school of anchovies initially looked like a red tide to Robert Monroe of Scripps.

On its Facebook page, Scripps said, “Even veteran fisheries oceanographers were amazed. This is not an oil slick off Scripps Pier. It’s a school of anchovy no one can recall seeing this close to shore in 30 years.”
Phil Hastings, a marine biologist professor and curator of the Scripps Marine Vertebrate Collection, told City News Service the millions of anchovies were first spotted Monday by lifeguards, but they were mostly dissipated by Tuesday evening.

“Leopard sharks [one is seen in the video] were feeding on them this morning,” Hastings told CNS.
Hastings said the water at the pier was 74 degrees and “pretty much the warmest water the species has been reported in.”
The Scripps Marine Vertebrate Collection collected specimens so they could be studied, but Hastings told CNS that he doubted the mystery of the baitfish’s appearance along the shore would ever be solved.

Links :
  • Flickr  : A huge school of anchovies travels through waters off the coast of La Jolla, CA on July 8, 2014.
  • NOAA :  Anchovy

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