Thousands of sardine fish have been surfacing near a beach in Goa for the past few days, providing locals with a visual treat and a bountiful catch. Experts said it’s a “rare” phenomenon known as ‘sardine run’.
Shoals of the marine species are fluttering in shallow waters along the coast at Keri-Terekhol, about 40 km from Panaji, on the Goa-Maharashtra border, according to those living in the vicinity.
Local fisherman Vaman Naik (35) said the sardine fish, which are either eaten fresh or preserved in tins, have been swimming near the beach every evening since Monday.
“Thousands of fish are jumping out of the water. It’s a treat for locals, who gather at the beach and collect the fish and take them home,” said Naik, adding that he has seen something like this for the first time in his life.
A video of sardines rushing out of the water and people gathering to collect them has gone viral on the internet.
Dr Baban Ingole, a former researcher from CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) called the marine event “very rare” and said it usually happens due to sudden changes in the temperature of sea surface water where sardines live.
“A drop or rise in sea surface temperature can induce migration of sardines in higher numbers and sometimes they get trapped in shallow waters as seen in the present video,” he said.
He described the phenomenon as “sardine run”.
Ingole said fishes usually travel in search of food. “When the deeper water rises, it brings nutrient-rich water on top, triggering high food production. And sardines feed on this fresh food called ‘phytoplankton’, the expert said.
About the rarity of the event, he said, “You can also check with fishermen. Such a phenomenon was reported from Kerala last year.”
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