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Long-term trends in cetacean occurrence during the annual sardine run off the Wild Coast, South Africa

Jennifer M. Fitchett; Stefan W. Grab; Heinrich Portwig School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa ABSTRACT Phenological shifts represent one of the most robust bioindicators of climate change. While considerable multidecadal records of plant and animal phenology exist for the northern hemisphere, few noteworthy...

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Cape Gannet (Morus capensis)

Cape Gannet on the Sardine Run The Cape gannet (Morus capensis) is listed as vulnerable since it has a very small breeding range on just six islands, and over-exploitation of its prey by human fisheries – compounded by pollution – is causing a continuous decline in the quality of surrounding waters for foraging. It’s a 84-94 cm, […]

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Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Humpback whales and the sardine run The Humpback whales is a common sighting for adventurers experiencing the sardine run. These frequent sightings lead many visitors to incorrectly believe that these giant leviathans presence is related to the feasting opportunity on the sardine shoals. However, the presence of the Humpback whale is driven by the fact […]

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Dusky Shark (Carcharhinus obscurus)

Dusky Sharks The Dusky shark swims in tropical and temperate oceans worldwide, cruising from depths of 1,300 feet (400 meters) near the continental shelf all the way in to the surf zone and other shallow inshore waters. Dusky sharks are long-distance swimmers known for seasonal, temperature-driven migrations that males and females undertake in separate groups. […]

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Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera brydei)

Brydes Whale in the Sardine Run The Bryde’s whale (pronounced “broo-dess”), is named after Johan Bryde who helped build the first whaling factory in Durban, South Africa in 1909. The Bryde’s whale is the only baleen whale species that lives all year-round in warmer waters near the equator. In addition to the “ordinary” Bryde’s whale, with […]

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Anchovy (Engraulis capensis)

Anchovy in the Sardine Run The anchovy is a small, common salt-water forage fish of the family Engraulidae. Anchovies are found in scattered areas throughout the world’s oceans, but are concentrated in temperate waters, and are rare or absent in very cold or very warm seas. They are generally very accepting of a wide range […]

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Blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus)

Blacktip Shark The blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) is a species of requiem shark, and part of the family Carcharhinidae. It is common to coastal tropical and subtropical waters around the world, including brackish habitats. Genetic analyses have revealed substantial variation within this species, with populations from the western Atlantic Ocean isolated and distinct from those […]

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Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis)

Common dolphin in the Sardine Run As their name implies, the Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) is one of the most abundant of all dolphin species, found world-wide in tropical and warm temperate waters. They often occur in very large schools and are sometimes associated with diving gannets and feeding whales and penguins. Generally, schools move at […]

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The annual sardine run – an experience not to be missed

Every year large shoals of sardines enter the waters of southern KwaZulu-Natal during the winter months. Here’s a taste of what happens when they arrive. Feeding frenzy Every year, in June or July along the KwaZulu-Natal coast, word gets out and within hours crowds of people converge on the area to join sharks, game fish, […]

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Travelers Diary: Head to the Kwa-Zulu Natal Coast to run with the sardines.

When: Ongoing till July 2016 Where: KwaZulu-Natal coast The Sardine run is a marine spectacle at its best . A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view creatures of the earth, sky and water taking part in one of nature’ s unexplained mysteries. Around June each year, word gets out along the KwaZulu-Natal coast that the sardines have […]

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