Massive school of Anchovy. Credit: Scripps Oceanography (Youtube).

A massive school of anchovy arrived at La Jolla Shores on July 8th in what is being described as the largest aggregation in more than 30 years. The scene from shore and water are very dramatic as they are so dense, and many say it looks more like an oil spill in the clear Southern California waters. Scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography say it’s unclear why the unusually large school has moved into the shallow waters off the coast. Members of the Scripps Marine Vertebrate Collection have collected samples for study. In a bizarre coincidence, the Caesar Salad turned 90 just 3 days ago. Imagine that! 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. Watch the video here and see their arrival at the Scripps Pier (underwater scenes start at 1:50):

This next video showing the thousands of anchovy is based off of La Jolla Beach. It was edited and shot by Jeff Hester.