What is a Group of Fish Called? Collective Nouns For Fish

What is a group of fish called? Or any idea about the collective nouns for fish! Let’s learn the details along with a basic explanation, a lot of examples, and a list.

Let’s explore collective nouns for fish!

What is a Group of Fish Called?

Let’s discuss what is a group of fish called or how do we specify a group of fish. Riya has a nice fish tank and she used to feed them every day.  She has so many fish in the fish tank and all are colorful.

She observed many fish stays in the group. But she doesn’t have any idea about those groups.

what is a group of fish called collective noun for fish
What is a group of fish called collective noun for fish

When she asked her father, her father told that like human beings or animals, fish also stayed in a group and it has a specific name!

Like other animals or birds, fish also stayed in groups, and it is necessary to specify the name of the group to distinguish each other. These are called collective nouns for fish.

In this regard, collective nouns for fish came into the picture.

  • Collective nouns for fish mean a group of fish stayed together.
  • Each group has a name.
  • One group may have more than one name as well based on their activities.

For Example

  • Party: When rainbow fish are in a group, it is called a party of rainbow fish. This is simply a collective noun for rainbow fish.
  • Bind: When salmon fish are in a group, it is called a bind of salmon fish. This is another example of a collective noun for salmon

Collective Nouns For Fish

Everyone knows what a group of fish is called. But fish are not of one type. There are many species of fish. So in this article, we will cover the names of different groups of fish.

what is a group of fish called collective noun for Dogfish

First of all, let’s understand what a group of fish is known as for examples,

Collective Nouns for FishExplanation 
TroopA troop of dogfish
HerringAn army of herring
MinnowsA steam of minnows
GleanA glean of herring
SwarmA swarm of eels
ShoalA shoal of mackerel
SchoolA school of pilchards

Now, you may be wondering to see that shoal and school are used as a group of fish, like,

  • A shoal of fish
  • A school of fish

Now, do you know why these two names of groups of fish are different?

The name is different based on the task they are doing,

  • Shoal
  • School

Some people often call a group a fish class. But some experts had argued that word class is wrong and shoal should be used.

We can use both ‘fish class’ and ‘fish shoal’. It’s also a fact that a group of sharks is called chilling and a group of rainbow fish is called a party.

Similarly, all species of fish and other marine animals have different collective group names.

Let’s try to see the difference between school vs shoal.

School vs Shoal of fish

Let’s try to understand the comparison of school vs shoal of fish in detail.

what is a group of fish called school vs shoal
What is a group of fish called school vs shoal

School of Fish:

  • When all the fish are of the same species, then their group is referred to as ‘School of fish’.
  • These all fish move in the same manner and swim together.
  • Also, schooling helps to reduce friction between many different bodies and water.
  • A school of fish looks like a large powerful creature in the water body.

Shoal of Fish:

  • A shoal of fish contains fish of different species.
  • Shoaling is helpful for fish to find food at the same time.
  • It proves several benefits.
  • Fish, when to work together, can form a barrier in front of the predator.
  • Also, working together helps them find mates.
  • They can also hide from the predator, when in a group.

What do you call a Group of Fish?

The very first thing to keep in mind is to understand the difference between whether the group is species-specific or not. Either you can choose based on species or you can choose based on the activity fish are performing.

  • If you see a group of fish that are swimming casually looking for food and also contain different species, then you can call it a ‘shoal of fish.
  • On the other hand, if you find a group of fish with a tight uniform formation and all are of the same species then you can call it a ‘school of fish’.

Check a NICE ANIMATED video,

Benefits of a Group of Fish

Understand the meaning deeply. If a group of fish is shoaling, it’s performing for a specific social reason. There can be several reasons for it-  searching for food, shelter, hiding from the predators, etc.

Even if they are swimming independently, they behave as if they are connected. So this makes them a shoal of fish.

  • It’s also believed that approximately half of all fish swim in groups for at least part of their lives while one-quarter of all fish swim in such groups for their whole lives.
  • Fish generally prefer larger groups over smaller groups. They prefer groups with similar species. They prefer group mates that have similar sizes and appearances.
  • This also has a specific reason. The group mate stands out from the crowd and is more likely to be attacked by the predator and eaten.

Some fish species including anchovy, herring, and tuna spend more time in schooling. While other species like the Atlantic cod school only for some part of their lives.

Collective Nouns for Different Species of Fish

Let’s understand different species of fish with their particular group names.


  • It’s a type of fish that can swim very fast.
  • Collective Noun: a shoal of butterflyfish


  • It has threatening teeth and a habit of approaching floats. It’s termed as an ocean threat but it’s not true.
  • Collective Noun: a herd of Barracuda


  • It’s a species of eels.
  • Collective Noun: a bed of eels


  • It’s an aquarium-fed species. It’s the most famous type of fish. Goldfish are both cute and bright in appearance. They come from the family of bell bees. They mostly live in cold water.
  • Collective Noun: a troubling of goldfish


  • It’s a bony fish species from the sardine family. It has a thin long and silver body. This is a kind of bony fish with 12-40cmin  length.
  • Collective Noun: a shoal of herring


  • It’s the fastest among migrant fish. It’s sold especially as ‘tuna’ in markets.
  • Collective Noun: a shoal of mackerel


  • It belongs to the moronidae family and their skin is covered with large scales. They live in cold or warm seas. They travel at a speed of 65 to 70km per hour.
  • Collective Noun: a pack of perch


  • It’s a marine fish belonging to the Clupeidae family.
  • Collective Noun: a shoal of shad

List of Collective nouns for Fish


A company of angelfish

A company of archerfish


A battery of barracuda

A shoal of barbels

A fleet of bass

A grind of blackfish

A school of butterflyfish


A school of cod


A swarm of dragonet fish

A troop of dogfish

A flock of dolphins


A swarm of eels


A shoal of fish

A glide of flying fish


A glint of goldfish


A glean of herrings


A shoal of mackerel

A shoal of minnows


A pack of perch

A shoal of pilchards

A cluster of porcupine fish

A gam of porpoises


A party of rainbow fish

A shoal of roach


A bind of salmon

A family of sardines

A herd of seahorses

A shoal of shad

A shiver of sharks

A group of shrimps

A quantity of smelt

A shoal of sticklebacks

A flotilla of swordfish


A hover of trout

A float of tuna


A pod of Whiting


Hence, we have a got a basic idea of collective nouns for fish and got a clear concept of what is a group of fish called. Any comments, please write to us! Cheers!

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