South African sardine run brings exciting underwater action

Every year huge schools of sardines pass South Africa. The fish are migrating and spawning, spreading their young across as many regions and climate zones as possible, to increase their survival chances.

For marine predators this annual migration is a moveable feast. Every sort of fish and mammal—dolphins, porpoises, whales, seals, all sorts of birds from gannets to penguins, sharks, tuna, and every other kind of fish big enough to eat a sardine will be on the scene, gobbling down whatever it can get.

For humans this is a feast of a different sort—a feast of underwater wildlife action.

Dive shops all along the South African coast run boats out looking for bait balls, so scuba divers can see the variety of undersea life.

“The sardine run is a special event that happens only in South Africa, and it happens in different areas throughout April, May, June and July,” said Nadia Aly from Scuba Diver Life Expeditions.

“We’re here searching every single day for bait balls,” she said.

Divers look for flocks of gannets, the deep-diving fish-hunting birds. When they see hundreds of gannets plunging into the sea, they know they have hit the jackpot.

“You’ll have penguins and whales, sharks, all the mammals coming around feeding on them. And it’s phenomenal,” said scuba diver Garry Coburn.

“We’re looking for the gannets, then we see the African penguins, then we know there’s a good sign. We head over there and it’s just a feeding frenzy, is what it is,” he said.

Nadia Aly said much the same thing. “Guests can get confused pretty easily. There’s just so much excitement happening.

“There’s seals, there could be penguins here in Port Elizabeth, sharks, Bryde’s whales, humpbacks, you just never know what’s going to be there. The only way to really describe it is that it’s intense,” she said.

 
 
 
US

Iran’s Khamenei Urges Muslim Nations to Unite Against US

Iran’s Khamenei Urges Muslim Nations to Unite Against US
ANKARA—Iran's supreme leader called on Muslim nations to unite against the United States, saying Tehran would never yield ...
READ MORE >
 

Why Does North Korea Have No Choice but to Suspend Nuclear Tests?

Why Does North Korea Have No Choice but to Suspend Nuclear Tests?
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced on April 20 that the country will suspend nuclear tests and ...
READ MORE >
 

Chinese Scientists Confirm North Korea Nuclear Testing Site Collapse

Chinese Scientists Confirm North Korea Nuclear Testing Site Collapse
Scientists in China have confirmed that the site of North Korea’s nuclear testing has collapsed, supporting what experts ...
READ MORE >
 
US

Court Ruling Deals Minor Blow to Trump on DACA, but Opens Door to Victory on Appeal

Court Ruling Deals Minor Blow to Trump on DACA, but Opens Door to Victory on Appeal
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that President Donald Trump does not have the power to legally end the Deferred Action ...
READ MORE >