Friday, 25 November 2011

Ocean's bounty

Yesterday, in the late afternoon RMan and I were on our way to the shops when we noticed a lot of activity on the beach.
The sea is a seething mass of life -
marine and human LOL  The fishermen
with their net are in the right hand corner
On arrival we discovered that the sardines were running in Hout Bay - something we have only seen occur two or three times since we moved here in 1994.

Goose bump inducing, exciting and so invigorating to see such a large number of fish - and the seething horde of seals and seagulls who appear to have been well fed.  Unfortunately, I did not spy any dolphin this time - perhaps they were following a larger shoal of sardines up the east coast?
Well fed seagulls with eyes bigger than their
stomachs... The fishermen with their net are
in the right hand corner
Some seagulls were so weighed down by their meal that they could no longer fly to catch their food - but rather had to waddle at the water's edge, whilst their eyes try to convince them that they could fit in... "just one more fish"...
One of the catches...
A group of professional fishermen braved the cold wind and water to wade in waist deep with their nets and return to the shoreline with their haul, which they then proceeded to place in the waiting tubs before hauling them off to their vehicle in the parking lot.
Jannie - the lone fisherman
Jannie's catch - the fish that is, not
the polluting plastic bag...

Truly inspiring to see the ocean's bounty so close up.  And to see first hand a remnant of history illustrated with the casting of nets into the sea and the bountiful harvest of ocean life.  No engines, nothing mechanical, just men and their nets.  And the children scrambling to gather up the sardines which managed to escape the nets...  I guess there are some well fed people who shared this bounty last night.

Now that is what I call a truly eco-friendly way of harvesting a meal :)


Update:  According to our local newspaper this evening, this is not a normal sardine run, but is due to a red tide out to sea which is forcing the sardines closer inland.  Whatever - the seals, seagulls and fishermen are enjoying the windfall.  

9 comments:

  1. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this experience.

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  2. Really neat, I think I would be wading in there with a net as well. Our grandson, the consummate fisherman, would not give me any choice but to do so.:)

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  3. Linda - You're welcome :)

    Jody - It always blows me away too :)

    Mr H - The water (and wind) was c-o-l-d. RSon went and harvested fish 14 years ago when we first experienced the phenomenon, but not since then LOL

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  4. Dani, thanks so much for sharing this. I've been to the coast a couple of times to watch the whales breach as they travel north up Australia's coast on their annual migration to the warmer tropical waters. I must try to take some photos now I have a better camera as it's really spectacular first hand.
    Cheers,
    Robyn

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  5. Robyn - You're welcome :) We get whales in Hout Bay also - normally in November - but strangely, not this year.

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  6. I've never seen anything like that! Great photos and I loved learning about this. You're right about it being inspiring.

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  7. Leigh - Thanks - loved sharing it too :)

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  8. Very exciting to see everyone, man and bird/beast get their fill of the fish .. with plenty to spare :) Everyone is gruntled ;)

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