Ocean Fish Pictures
Everyone knows what a fish is: from a pet goldfish to a wild sunfish, fish are globally recognized and are an important global protein source. In this slideshow, we will look at some of the most interesting and amazing species of fish that live in the ocean. Which fish gets its name from the 1950’s horror movie The Blob? Which fish has a special protein that prevents its blood from freezing as is swims through the Arctic waters? And which fish has a separate set of jaws that grab prey from its mouth and pulls it down its throat? Find out in this slideshow!
Sweetlips, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
“On an afternoon dive, I spotted a small group of sweetlips in the current among a shoal of juvenile convict blennies. It took me some time to get close to the fish without spooking them. I took several frames but this one was my favorite because of the position of the fish, particularly the one on the right who seems to be yawning.” -- Nature's Best Photographer, Jose Alejandro Alvarez
Jose Alejandro Alvarez
Striped Eel Catfish
Striped eel catfish are the only species of catfish found in coral reefs.
Frogfish Histrio histrio
The Sargassum frogfish Histrio histrio is a small but voracious predator - it can ingest animals up to it’s own size! The fins of the frogfish are perfect for creeping around in the algae and stalking unsuspecting prey.
A tiny yellow goby, Lubricogobius exiguus, living inside an abandoned can on the seafloor; Suruga Bay, Japan
The ghoulish blob sculpin, a deepwater fish that can be found off the Pacific coast of the U.S., is reminiscent of a famous terrestrial monster from 1950s horror film classic "The Blob."
NOAA, Alaska Fisheries Science Center
Arctic Cod Under Ice
Arctic cod have a special protein that keeps their blood from freezing in ice cold waters.
E. Siddon, UAF, Hidden Ocean 2005, NOAA.
A School of Hawaiian Squirrelfish
Hawaiian squirrelfish (Sargocentron xantherythrum) are almost entirely nocturnal, so they need big eyes to absorb as much moonlight and starlight as they can in the dark.
James Watt, USFWS Pacific
Portrait of a yellow-green blennie (family Clinidae) hiding in the groove of a green brain coral.
A Baby Moray Eel, or a Really Small Adult?
This is an unidentified moray eel, collected from 650 feet off the coast of Curacao. Researchers don't yet know if this is a young eel, or a small full-grown one. By analyzing this moray's DNA and comparing it to DNA from known morays in the Caribbean, they will determine if this small eel is a juvenile of a known species.
Trish Mace, Smithsonian Institution
Seagrass and Shoal of Fish
Hardy head silversides (Atherinomorus lacunosus) are abundant fish in shallow water reef flat seagrass meadows throughout the Indo-Pacific.
Richard Unsworth/Marine Photobank
Butterflyfish and Wrasse
A wrought iron butterflyfish, Chaetodon daedalma, being cleaned by a small wrasse in the waters of Japan's Ogasawara Islands.
Bigeye Jacks and Diver Balicasag, Philippines
"I was photographing this beautiful school of jacks when a diver slowly approached from beneath. I shifted my position to capture the moment he entered the ball of fish. Seconds later, he was completely immersed in the school.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Steve De Neef
Steve De Neef, Antwerp, Belgium www.stevedeneef.com
This bait ball shows how small fish can react when larger predators are near, gathering tightly together in a ball-like formation that exposes the least number of fish.
Flickr User Critidoc
A school of yellowfin surgeonfish, Acanthurus xanthopterus, feed near dusk off Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands, one of the world's largest marine protected areas.
No glue and glitter needed here! The pinecone fish (Monocentris japonicus) looks like the real thing on land—covered in large scales with a dark trim. They are found lurking in caves and under ledges in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans, and are a popular aquarium fish.
Gobies on Coral, Near Marsa Alam, Egypt
“It’s quite normal for this type of goby to sit still on hard coral like this. I spotted the first of these very small fish and set up my camera for the shot. Just as I was about to take a picture, a second goby came out of nowhere and sat on the first one. I quickly corrected the frame and took two or three shots before both of them disappeared. It was an incredible moment.”-- Nature's Best Photographer, Tobias Friedrich
Tobias Friedrich/Nature's Best Photography
Dragonfish from Australia
Deep-sea species like this dragonfish collected near Australia live in cold, dark waters and may go weeks or months between meals.
Dr. Julian Finn, Museum Victoria
This lionfish, with fins and venomous spines extended, is an aggressive predator.
Parrotfish in Mucus Cocoon
A parrotfish creates a mucus cocoon to protect it from parasites while sleeping.
Snowflake Moray Eel
No two snowflakes are alike. Every snowflake is beautiful in its own way. But this one’s pretty creepy. The snowflake moray eel (Echidna nebulosa) has white, black and yellow splotches all over its body, which come together to look like snowflake designs. Moray eels eat their prey in a unique way – with two jaws. The second set of jaws is in their throat, which shoots up and grabs the prey from the main pair of jaws, drawing the prey down to the esophagus.
Flickr User Michael Bentley
Parasitic Worms in a Fish
The whitish spots on this fish are individual parasitic trematode worms.
Flounder Faces Pollution and Overfishing in Baltic Sea
For centuries, the Baltic Sea has provided European flounder (Platichthys flesus) and other fish for millions of people. Since the early 1980s, the nations surrounding the sea have coordinated their efforts to protect its health through the Helsinki Commission. In addition to being overfished, the Baltic Sea is one of the more polluted bodies of water in the world. You can read about some of the impacts that chemical pollutants have had on European flounder on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species website.
© OCEANA Carlos Minguell
Sockeye Salmon, Adams River, British Columbia, Canada
“Every four years, sockeyes come inland from the Pacific to spawn. The year 2010 was the largest run in 100 years, reaching more than 30 million fish. On this day, I waited for the right sunlight, then quietly slipped into the river. Fighting the rush of the current, I positioned myself in front of the fish as they hugged the shore." -- Nature's Best photographer, Todd Mintz
Todd Mintz, Regina Saskatchewan, Canada, www.tmintz.com