Circle of life
The five-metre baitball was constantly changing shape and moving. The mackerel’s defence strategy seemed to be working, as for the hour Jordi followed them, freediving, no predators attacked. As the ball sank deeper, he captured a top-down perspective, highlighting the graceful choreography that belied the simmering tension.
By swimming in a tight, coordinated school, the slender mackerel confuse their predators, striped European barracudas and broader bluefish. Barracudas are skilful hunters of fish, as are the aggressive bluefish, which often attack shoals as well as hunting other animals such as squid.
Nikon D800; 16mm f2.8 lens; 1/125 sec at f8 (−1 e/v); ISO 400; Isotta housing; Seacam strobes.
Formigas Islets, Azores, Portugal
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Jordi Chias Pujol, Spain
Jordi is a freelance photographer based in Barcelona. He specialises in photographing the underwater world, capturing both wildlife and human activity. His work has been published in magazines and books, and has been used by conservation organisations. His photography has also garnered awards in many competitions.