What is a Group of Fish Called?

Learn what a group of fish is called and how they gather in schools, shoals, swarms, and aggregations. Discover the fascinating social structures of fish!


Have you ever wondered what a group of fish is called? In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of fish and the different terms used to describe them when they gather in large numbers.

1. School

One of the most common terms used to describe a group of fish is a ‘school’. Fish that swim together in a coordinated manner are said to be schooling. This behavior helps them stay safe from predators and navigate their environment more effectively.

2. Shoal

While the terms ‘school’ and ‘shoal’ are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between the two. A shoal refers to a group of fish that swim in the same direction but do not necessarily stay close together or move in a synchronized manner.

3. Swarm

In some cases, fish can gather in large numbers in a chaotic and disorganized manner. This is known as a ‘swarm’. Swarms can occur during certain feeding or breeding seasons when multiple species of fish come together in one area.

4. Aggregation

When different species of fish come together in a specific location for feeding, mating, or other purposes, it is called an aggregation. These gatherings can be temporary or more permanent depending on the circumstances.

5. School vs. Shoal

  • A school of fish swims in a coordinated manner, while a shoal swims in the same direction but not necessarily together.
  • A school appears more organized, while a shoal is more loosely structured.
  • Both schools and shoals provide protection and aid in navigation for fish.


So, the next time you see a group of fish swimming together, you will know that they could be called a school, shoal, swarm, or aggregation depending on their behavior and purpose. Fish have fascinating social structures that help them survive and thrive in their underwater world.

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