Did you know there is a fish migration so huge it can be seen from space?

The 2019 sardine run in KwaZulu-Natal is in full swing with the KZN Sharks Board confirming numerous nettings and sightings on the South Coast. (Supplied: Gerhard Britz)
The 2019 sardine run in KwaZulu-Natal is in full swing with the KZN Sharks Board confirming numerous nettings and sightings on the South Coast. (Supplied: Gerhard Britz)

Parent24 is answering kids curious questions in a new 'Did you know?' series, and we're starting with:

Did you know there is a fish migration so huge it can be seen from space?

And it happens right here, on our coastline!

The annual Sardine Run takes place between May and July, when millions of small silver fish called sardines travel in enormous shoals from the cold Atlantic waters of Cape Point to the warmer coastlines of the northern Eastern Cape and southern Kwazulu-Natal.

These shoals, as big as 15km long, 3.5km wide and up to 40m deep, are so huge, they can be seen by satellite from space.

As the fish travel along the coastline they leave many predators in their wake.

Birds, sharks, whales, dolphins, albatross, Cape gannets, African penguins, humpback whales and Cape fur seals all follow in the hopes of grabbing a tasty sardine snack.

And not just predators, but also thousands of people come down to the sea in the hopes of catching a bucket of fish for supper.

Scuba divers, underwater photographers and tourists also flock to the South coast in the hop[e of catching a fishy selfie to mark the occasion. 

Coinciding with The Sardine Run is South Africa’s annual humpback whale migration, which means it's the best time of year to see many of South Africa's most amazing sea creatures. 

Boat trips are popular and available for people to watch the actions above the waves as well as on land, with the most popular beaches being Margate, Scottsburgh and Park Rynie.


Do you have a curious question about South Africa? Send it to us, and we'll try to find the answer! 

Email us, or send a message to our WhatsApp number: 066 010 0325

Find more children's resources here

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.