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School is out! Thousands of bunker fish swirl in hypnotic patterns off Long Island

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School is out! Thousands of bunker fish swirl in hypnotic patterns off Long Island

  • Thousands of silvery fish weaved in patterns and splashed about off the coast of Long Island, New York
  • The huge school of menhaden is known for moving south when it gets cold
  • Beautiful swirling patterns in the water were seen as they circled each other










Thousands of silvery fish swirled in hypnotic patterns in stunning aerial shots captured over the coast of Long Island, New York.

The school of menhaden, also known as bunker fish, threaded around each other in an enchanting patchwork of charcoal gray and silver, the sun reflecting off their scales.

Occasionally they could be seen splashing as they jumped through the crystal clear water.

Menhaden tend to migrate to southern warmer waters in the Atlantic during the fall and winter in North America and return north in the spring and summer.

The group’s flatfish was captured on October 5 in stunning drone footage by Joanna L Steidle.

The video was posted to her YouTube channel and has been viewed more than 5.3 thousand times.

The fish jump around and splash in the clear turquoise waters off the coast of Long Island, New York

The fish swirl around in a weave in the hypotonic drone footage captured on October 5

The fish swirl around in a weave in the hypotonic drone footage captured on October 5

In the stunning clip, the schools of fish weave around each other in rippling patterns and circle sulkingly.

Steidle also captured beautiful views of fall fog and other Hamptons locations through drone footage.

Menhaden are not used as food directly by humans, but are made into fish oil and fish meal because their tender flesh is high in omega-3 fat.

‘The most important fish in the sea’

Menhaden (Brevoortia patronus) play a vital role in the marine ecosystem across the Atlantic.

Some conservationists refer to them as “the most important fish in the sea,” referring to a book of the same name by H. Bruce Franklin, according to Ecori News.

Many feel the species should be given special protection because so many species feed on it, including bluefish, dolphins, eagles, humpback whales, ospreys, sharks, striped bass and weak fish.

Menhaden are often hauled off in bulk by trawlers and their nutrient-rich meat is used to make fertilizers, cosmetics and feed for livestock and farmed fish.

Menhaden's tender meat is high in omega-3 fat

Menhaden’s tender meat is high in omega-3 fat

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