The sphere of sardines / South Africa

The sphere of sardines
During the hunt on the schools of sardines, common dolphins forms groups consisting of 3000-5000 persons. They split in separate groups on the distance of a kilometer or more, patrolling ocean depths. On finding the sardines, dolphins with well-coordinated movements separate a small group of sardines – a so called “Bait-Ball” and pursue it to the surface from 40-60m/131-196ft depth. The group of fish that was separated from the main school creates a dense spherical mass that moves around its common center that is 10-20m/32-65ft in diameter.
One of the most fascinating oceanic performances starts now. The dolphins that swim around the sphere are the markers for cormorants that fall down like a rain on the school of the sardines, catching everything that is reachable for their razor sharp beaks. After that, sharks, seals and whales join the feast by swimming through the sphere eating everything on their way. There are also various gull species that attack schools of fish from the air.
The sardines inside the sphere have no chances of surviving during the battle against hundreds of predators. The most important rule for the sardines and the key to their safety lies in quantity. In 10 minutes there is nothing left from the sardine sphere.

Location: The southern edge of Africa

What to see: Millions of sardines, common dolphins, sharks, seals, whales, gulls etc.

Depth: 20-60m/65-196ft

Currents: 1-2knots

Visibility: 20m/66ft or better

Season for diving: Every year from the end of May till the end of July. The average water temperature is about 20C/68F.


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