The Dance of the Bait Ball - Oceana USA
Home / Blog / The Dance of the Bait Ball

March 5, 2009

The Dance of the Bait Ball

The BBC has incredible footage showing sharks, dolphins, whales and gannets (sea birds) feasting on a shimmering ball of sardines.The gannets dive surprisingly deep (around 60 feet!) for their share of the feast. It really does look like an elaborately choreographed dance.The bait ball is an annual event caused by cool ocean currents, and while the tiny fish appear infinite, the article states that recent changes to the ocean’s currents may alter the tradition. One source connects the poor sardine runs in recent years to climate change.The photo above, which appears on the cover of Oceana’s new Hungry Oceans report , was taken in the same location as the BBC video. The report discusses how climate change is one of the major threats to prey fish such as sardines, along with overfishing and demand for aquaculture feed.Now seriously, go watch that video.