20 June 2011

South Africa: Sardine Run 2011 - A taste of what's to come

update (27 June 2011): The 2011 Sardine Run has reached Durban's beachfront. Check the video... very durban-like ;-)

update (21 June 2011): According to reports, the sardines have started running. The first nettings produced 25 baskets of the fish at Hibberdene. The sardines currently coming through are isolated pilot shoals. About 500 common dolphins moved through the Margate area early on 21 June 2011. Many sharks were reported to be among the sardines.

The annual Sardine Run occurs in South African waters every June & July when millions of individual sardines spawn in the cool waters of the Agulhas Bank and move northward along the coast of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal into Mozambique. The shoals are often more than 7 km long, 1.5 km wide and 30 meters deep and are clearly visible from spotter planes or from the surface. The sheer numbers of Sardines create a feeding frenzy along the coastline, which is unique in the world. In terms of biomass, researchers estimate the sardine run could rival East Africa's great wildebeest migration.

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