Ocean Fishes Archives - Oceana

Pacific Herring

The herring’s body is bluish-green on the top of the back, and the stomach and sides are a bright silver. This coloring is known as countershading, and it makes Pacific herring harder to see from above or below. Countershading helps the herring camouflage itself from potential predators, which include larger fish, seabirds, and marine mammals.1 Another … Read more

Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye salmon are native to the western coast of North America and reside in the northern Pacific Ocean.3 They spend most of their life at sea, but during mating season from July to October, they move inland—some populations as far as western Idaho—for spawning.1 Sockeye salmon hatch in lakes, rivers and streams where they spend their … Read more

Green Moray Eel

The green moray eel has one long dorsal fin that extends down the entire length of its body and connects to a second fin, the caudal fin. Their faces have two nostrils, made visible by two small openings. On their upper jaw, moray eels have two full rows of teeth, while on the bottom there … Read more

Great Barracuda

Great barracudas have a large mouth containing two sets of teeth. The outer row of small, razor-sharp teeth are for tearing, and the inner set of larger teeth for piercing. These closely set teeth work in tandem to rip into the flesh of their prey. The long needle-like teeth fit into holes in the opposing … Read more

Pygmy Seahorse

As their name suggests, pygmy seahorses are tiny fish that are nearly indistinguishable from their habitats due to their size and extreme camouflage. They are so well camouflaged that Bargibant’s pygmy seahorse was only discovered after a host gorgonian was collected and observed by marine biologist George Bargibant.1 2 Pygmy seahorses grow to an average size … Read more


Sailfish are a type of billfish (like the blue marlin or swordfish) that are known not only for their pointed bills, but also their extraordinary dorsal fins that can be taller than the length of their bodies.1 Sailfish start out as tiny larvae, no more than a few millimeters in length, but grow rapidly during … Read more


Scorpionfish are bottom-dwelling fish that have also been called rockfish or stonefish because of their tendency to live among rocks near the seafloor. There are more than 200 known species of scorpionfish in the ocean. Members of this fish family are commonly found in the Indian and South Pacific Oceans where water temperatures are temperate … Read more

Skipjack Tuna

The skipjack tuna is a common species in the open ocean that forms very large schools, often around floating objects. A single floating log or slowly moving adult whale shark may have tens of thousands of skipjack around it. There are several hypotheses as to why this phenomenon occurs, but scientists generally agree that skipjack use these objects – … Read more

Bluebanded Goby

Bluebanded gobies are microcarnivores. They eat small crustaceans on the reef surface and from the water column directly above the reef surface. These gobies often hide near or under sea urchins (and the holes/hiding places that urchins create), and they do not like to stray far from these hiding places. They almost never leave direct contact with the … Read more

Sarcastic Fringehead

Female sarcastic fringeheads, like all tube blennies, lay their eggs in a males’ shelter, and the males protect them from potential predators and other threats until they hatch. This sexual selection by females drives a system of intense male competition and territoriality. Male sarcastic fringeheads display to each other by opening their very large mouths in … Read more