California Anchovy - Engraulis Mordax
Their range is from British Columbia to Baja Mexico, and they live in coastal waters, filter feeding on small phytoplankton and zooplankton, like shrimp. Special cells along the fishes' bodies, sense slight changes in water pressure around them. This allows them to form tight groups and synchronize their movements. Anchovy are low in the food chain which make them a good food choice for humans. There are lots of them, they reproduce quickly, and are low in toxic metals like mercury. Bays and estuaries are important places for these animals, who live up to 7 years. Sometimes they reach such great numbers in the harbor, that aerators need to be installed boosting oxygen levels in order to prevent large die offs.