Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sardine Run

An unseasonal Sardine Run is on at the moment in the sea around Cape Town. I was on Hout Bay beach this morning and the water was alive with these little fish no more than 25 cm long. They seem completely disorientated, some of them swim up onto the beach and lie there flipping before some tern swoops down and flies off with them.
The photo on the left shows one that has just stranded itself and lies there flapping and gasping. They are sardines (Sardinopsis sugax) and theories abound as to why they do this - but it is still rather mysterious.
There were hundreds and thousands of seagulls, terns and cormorants - as well as dolphins and seals (and no doubt, sharks), all having a feeding frenzy. The local humans also cashed in.


  1. Is it red tide? Remember when the crayfish walked out of the sea on the West Coast because of the red tide?

  2. Very unusual indeed. It seems that you are having all types of interesting things wash up on your beaches lately