Sardine Run: A Rare Phenomenon Unfolds Near Keri-Terekhol Beach

In a spectacular display of nature's wonders, thousands of sardine fish have been creating a mesmerizing sight near a beach in Goa, leaving locals and experts alike in awe. This extraordinary occurrence, known as the 'sardine run,' has turned the waters along the coast at Keri-Terekhol, approximately 40 km from Panaji, into a bustling marine spectacle. 

As reported by a daily, according to Vaman Naik (35), a local fisherman, the sardine fish, sought after for their freshness and commonly preserved in tins, have been gracing the beach every evening since Monday. He expressed the rarity of the event, noting that it was the first time he had witnessed such a spectacle in his life. 

The captivating scene of thousands of fish leaping out of the water has not only become a treat for locals but has also gone viral on the internet, with a video capturing the breathtaking moment. 

Dr. Baban Ingole, a former researcher from CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), explained the phenomenon as "very rare." He mentioned that such events are typically triggered by sudden changes in sea surface water temperature, influencing the migration of sardines in higher numbers. In some instances, they may become trapped in shallow waters, creating a mesmerizing spectacle like the one observed in Goa.  

Describing the occurrence as a "sardine run," Ingole emphasized that fishes often travel in search of food, and fluctuations in sea surface temperature play an important role. "When the deeper water rises, it brings nutrient-rich water to the top, triggering high food production. Sardines feed on this fresh food, known as 'phytoplankton,'" explained the marine expert.  

Highlighting the rarity of such an event, Ingole pointed out that similar phenomena were reported in Kerala last year. As the coastal community in Goa witnesses this captivating display of nature, the "sardine run" not only provides a stunning visual experience but also serves as a reminder of the intricate ecological processes that shape marine life. 

Sardine in Indian Cuisine 

Sardine fish holds significant importance in Indian cuisine, featuring prominently in diverse culinary traditions across the country. In coastal regions like Kerala and Goa, sardines are a culinary staple, appreciated for their rich, oily texture and distinct flavour. In Kerala, the traditional preparation of Mathi Curry showcases sardines in a spicy and tangy coconut-based curry, while in Goa, they are often prepared as Sardine Fish Fry, highlighting the state's love for bold flavours. 

Moving east to West Bengal, sardines find their place in dishes like Sardine Mach Bhaja, a fried preparation that complements the region's affinity for robust seafood flavours. In South India, particularly Tamil Nadu, Mathi Meen Kuzhambu is a popular sardine curry prepared with tamarind and spices. The versatility of sardines in Indian cuisine reflects the regional diversity and the versatility of this humble fish in creating distinct and delectable culinary experiences.