The Sardine Run is one of nature’s great phenomena. It attracts dolphins, sharks, seals, whales and birds as well as humans who enjoy watching
Every year from May to July, the Sardines swim from the cold Atlantic Ocean in the Cape to the warm Indian Ocean in KwaZulu-Natal. It is one of those natural phenomena that still have scientists baffled.
Billions or Sardines swim together before disappearing off the coast of Mozambique. The shoals are often more than 7 km long, 1.5 km wide and 30 metres deep and are clearly visible from spotter planes or from the surface.
Sardines group together when they are threatened. This instinctual behaviour is a defence mechanism, as lone individuals are more likely to be eaten than large groups.
The entire Sardine run creates a feeding frenzy for a handful of wildlife and aquatic predators. It is truly something to behold.
While the sardine run is supposed to take place every year, there have been a few times when it just didn’t happen. Nobody could pinpoint one reason why.
Thankfully this year, the sardines have started their migration. Which is often compared to the great migration of Wildebeest in East Africa.
Speculation has been made that they swim when the colder waters of the Atlantic drop below 21 degrees Celcius but as mentioned above, there is no real science behind the migration yet.
Watch the video of the Sardine run below.