The “school trap”: a mechanism promoting large-amplitude out-of-phase population oscillations of small pelagic fish species


Andrew Bakun E-mail: Philippe Cury E-mail:


Small coastal pelagic marine fishes often form mixed schools containing two or more species. Individuals of a less abundant species, which are entrained in schools that are dominated numerically by a more abundant species, may be adversely impacted. This may help to account for an observed pattern of strong alternations in dominance between sardines and anchovies in a number of regions of the world’s oceans.