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The Most Extraordinary Shoal on Earth

As an enormous shimmering mass appears along the南非海岸线, gannets are sent torpedoing into the ocean, common dolphins are seen near shore, and breaching whales dance down the horizon. Yes, the most magnificent shoal on earth is here! The migration begins just off Cape Point, where the sardines leave the colder waters of the Agulas Bank after spawning.

他们沿着南非东海岸游泳,朝向port of Durban。他们的旅程大约是2000公里(1,250英里),而且它不仅吸引了数千人的游客,也是各种各样的捕食者,这太渴望在年度的普形派对上盛宴。

共同的海豚在一起工作制作诱饵球

The run usually includes around 10 million sardines and the shoal can often reach up to 7 kilometers (more than 4 miles) in length and about 1.5 km (up to 1 mile) in width, resulting in the largest fish migration on earth, rivaling that of east Africa’s Great Wildebeest migration across the Savannah.

The run occurs as a result of a current of cold water that drives millions of sardines north, towards Mozambique, where the shoal eventually moves away from the coastline, eastwards into the Indian Ocean.

浅滩汇集了多样化的掠食者,所有人都试图获得闪烁的自助餐。新金沙线上普通海豚在最多5,000个个人的豆荚中窃取了节目,浮潜描述了完全“思维”的活动。

Sharks Preying on Shimmering Mass of Sardines

通过使用泡沫和团队合作,他们分开了一部分sardinesfrom the large shoal (sardines instinctively group together as a behavioral defense mechanism due to the increased chance of survival) and form bait balls that vary between 10-20 meters in diameter. The dolphins then force the bait ball towards the surface (up to 10 meters) where the sardines are easiest to catch.

The bait balls add fuel to the fire, as sharks like thebronze whaler sharks, spinner sharks, dusky sharks, grey nurse sharks, black tip sharks, and zambezi sharks gorge on the sardines once they've been rounded up. Other predators include game fish (bluefish, king mackerel, various kingfish species, garrick and geelbek), birds (Cape gannet, cormorrants, terns and gulls) that plummet into the ocean in massive numbers, penguins, seals, and finally the largest of the melee of predators, the humpback whale, also ‘drops in’ to take advantage of the opportunity.

Shark Feasting on Bait Ball

The whales also put on marvelous courtship displays on their migration route to the northern warmer waters to mate and calve, with pectoral and tail slapping leaving the onlookers in awe.

Why the second largest animal migration occurs is still a mystery, but it is believed to be temperature dependent, only occurring when the warmer ocean temperatures decrease to below 21°C. Although the reason for this extraordinary event remains unclear, it undoubtedly is one of nature’s most spectacular phenomenon and a dream come true for any photographer, underwater or above.

Common Dolphins Hunting Sardines


Further Reading

南非潜水概况潜水新金沙线上

Great White Shark Cage Diving - South Africa

没有笼子 - 与南非鲨鱼鲨鱼潜水

6 Dive Sites To Add To Your Scuba Bucket List

Cow Sharks

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Much like a facebook page - you need to first have a personal account through which you can login and manage the business page.

创建个人帐户后,您将被指示为“我的潜水店”部分,您可以在其中索取现有列表或创建新的部分。新金沙线上

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