Indian Ocean ballet: S.Africa’s breathtaking ‘sardine run’

SourceKuwait Times

Dolphins gracefully pop in and out of the water, peppering the infinite-looking Indian Ocean, sharks rise from the depths while birds dive from the sky—all on the hunt for their next meal: sardines. In the crisp air of winter, South Africa’s east coast is home to a spectacular annual migration of millions of sardines. The “sardine run” lasts several months, usually peaking in July.

It attracts a host of marine predators, and the result is an awesome feeding frenzy.

“This is a super-pod of common dolphins,” Michelle Carpenter, marine biologist excitedly tells AFP, while perched on the side of a boat as three dolphins synchronise into a perfectly timed dive right behind her. As the ripples of foamy waters roll through, a flurry of Cape gannets tuck in their wings in succession, diving from the clear blue skies like arrows into the ominous dark waves. A shape-shifting silvery ball of sardines grouped together glides through the water in unison just more...