Posted on Leave a comment

Sardine Run EXPLAINED! Currents and Counter-Currents

Sardine Run EXPLAINED Currents and Counter Currents by Kevin in Qora

Sardine Run EXPLAINED! Currents and Counter-Currents

Sardine Run EXPLAINED! Currents and Counter-Currents: in this detailed explanation, currents and counter-currents are discussed.

Over to Kevin…

Okay, chaps, I think one of the most important factors that should be discussed when we’re talking about why the sardine run happens is the currents, the currents and the counter currents and the winter conditions that facilitate this movement of the Atlantic. Deep sardines into the Natal waters.

It’s a known fact that they’re actually not migrating. They’re not spawning. They’re not breeding. They’re just basically becoming part of the food chain. And that is, the whole weird thing about the sardine run. But certain factors facilitate it and make it what it is. One of the most important is the currents.

On the east coast of South Africa, we have a predominant Mozambique current, which is north to south. And um, if you go out on the shelf off of me here at Qora, it’s about 19 k’s out. The current can scream four, five, six kilometres an hour. So, That’s one of the reasons why the sardines come close to shore is because they wouldn’t actually make any headway out off the shelf.

So they come off the shelf into the shallower waters where the currents are a lot mellower due to bottom friction with shallow water. And they move up the coast where they’re not fighting as much current, but something important is that in wintertime, we get a counter current that is like a, if you can imagine a river that has little eddies off to the rapids where the water kind of goes backwards and circles, that’s basically what’s happening off the shelf because the water just kind of eddies closer in, in wintertime and we get a South to North current close into land and it’s a very cold plume.

So that’s what the sardines need. They need the cold water. And that starts way down in the Cape. And it kind of circles them up when they come out of the Atlantic. Most of them go up the west coast of Africa, but some of them splinter off. And that’s what becomes the sardine run. So yeah, they’re following a cold water plume, a counter-current that’s moving up the coast.

And that’s one of the most important factors that happens every winter that moves them along.

By Kevin Tuohy

Affiliated YouTube Channels – highly entertaining surf reporting – neva miss a single sardine – highly technical sport fishing – getting out there safely – complain here

Affiliated websites – self-catering right on the Umzimkulu River – sardine run coming up – never miss a single sardine – news from deep down – surf and conditions reporting – your dreams are out there – technical sport fishing