Amazing Pictures Show Dolphins, Blue Marlin And Gannets Feasting On Sardines During Annual Migration Of Millions Of Fish

It is a visual spectacle under the sea which is a joy to behold – for everyone apart from the sardines. These spectacular images capture dolphins, gannets and blue marlin take advantage of the annual ‘Sardine Run’, when millions of fish migrate from the southern tip of South Africa north to warmer waters in the summer. The presence of the fish draws huge numbers of predators to feast on the underwater buffet, which sees dolphins ‘herd’ the sardines into smaller families, known as ‘bait balls’.

In terms of biomass the run is equal to east Africa’s world-famous great wildebeest stampede, which sees over two million of the animals head from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya in search of more verdant pastures. The shoal can be nine miles long, 130 feet deep and two miles wide – so big that it can be seen from space.

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A dolphin dives into a bait ball of sardines in Mdumbi, South Africa during the annual ‘Sardine Run’ migration. (Photo by Daniel Botelho/Barcroft/The Daily Mail)

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A gannet dives into the water at high speed to disperse the bait ball of sardines during the run. (Photo by Daniel Botelho/Barcroft/The Daily Mail)

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While common dolphins are known to take advantage of the sardines’ movement, it is extremely rare to see a blue marlin taking part in the proceedings. (Photo by Daniel Botelho/Barcroft/The Daily Mail)

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Every year, millions of sardines make their annual migration from the southern tip of South Africa north to warmer waters. (Photo by Daniel Botelho/Barcroft/The Daily Mail)

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The annual ‘Sardine Run’ takes place between May and July every year. (Photo by Daniel Botelho/Barcroft/The Daily Mail)

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The dolphins ‘herd’ the sardines into smaller families, known as ‘bait balls’, before they attack. (Photo by Daniel Botelho/Barcroft/The Daily Mail)

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The predators have learned when the migration takes place, and huge numbers gather to feast on the underwater buffet. (Photo by Daniel Botelho/Barcroft/The Daily Mail)

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Photo by Daniel Botelho/Barcroft/The Daily Mail

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A sardine shoal can be nine miles long, 130 feet deep and two miles wide – so big that it can be seen from space. (Photo by Daniel Botelho/Barcroft/The Daily Mail)

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Two dolphins attack the sardines after herding them into a bail ball off the coast of Mdumbi, South Africa. (Photo by Daniel Botelho/Barcroft/The Daily Mail)

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A number of gannet birds dive deep in order to catch the sardines before returning to the surface. (Photo by Daniel Botelho/Barcroft/The Daily Mail)

Via The Daily Mail

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