70 years of helping people to care for our ocean

Anchovies in the shark exhibit at uShaka Sea World

By: Ann Kunz

This morning (23 Feb 2021), staff from the uShaka Sea World collections team were on the beach in front of the Point Water Sports Club when they noticed a large `pocket’ of anchovies swimming in the shallows. 

Cape anchovies occur along the entire South African coast and are often found in large shoals in summer along the KZN coast. The last time that uShaka Sea World was able to display anchovies was in March 2016 therefore the staff were thrilled at the possibility of being able, once again, to showcase these amazing shoaling fish.

Once the necessary equipment had been brought to the beach they carefully encircled a small section of the shoal into a holding net in the shallows before dipping them out with PVC hoop bags. From the hoop bags the anchovies were transferred onto an awaiting 2-ton water trailer and driven the short distance to the aquarium.

We are grateful for this opportunity to showcase these Cape anchovies.  Almost all our visitors would never have had the opportunity to witness this incredible display of animals working as a unit to dazzle and confuse their predators. These humble fish might be small but they make a huge impact on ocean health. They play a vital role in the marine web of life and are preyed upon by sea birds, dolphins, some whale species, seals and many predatory fish who are in turn preyed upon by sharks and other top predators.   

However, a word of warning, you might want to plan to spend a little longer in the aquarium on your next visit as they are so mesmerising it is very difficult to walk away from the exhibit.