Remarkable “Tornado” of Schooling Fish Reminds Us of Ocean’s Mysteries

Those of us who venture onto the ocean as anglers generally share a common appreciation for the mystery and power of the place. In part, I think it’s the unpredictable essence that attracts us; unlike in our daily lives, one never knows what to expect when we venture forth.

And I think that attraction helps explain why, as fishermen, we see something like the video below and find it particularly astonishing. In a report explaining the circumstances of this video, shot by scientist Octavio Aburto, Pete Thomas appropriately labels this as a "tornado of schooling fish."

Apparently it’s a spawning aggregation, in this case of jacks (I’m guessing Pacific horse-eye), off southern Baja’s Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park. The photographer told Thomas that seeing this phenomenon reinforces the need for more marine reserves up and down the Baja peninsula. That’s understandable, though proper regulation and effective enforcement would reduce considerably the need to simply close off large areas.

In any event, enjoy this “tornado,” a sight rarely seen.