Why Are Millions of Sardines Washed Up on the Coast of Ginatilan?

Millions of sardines washed up on the Coast of Ginatilan, Sitio Guilungsuran, Barangay Poblacion. According to Floramie Dacillo, this phenomenon happened for four consecutive days. The first beaching happened on February 11, up until February 14.

The coastline turned silver and fishermen flocked to the beach for a great catch that didn’t require a lot of effort. Videos resurfaced online, even reaching the international community on Twitter.

Tweet from @PicturesFoIder on X

Foreigners put their two scents regarding the phenomenon, saying how these occurrences are inexplicable and fascinating. Some are saying that this could be a bad omen preceding a tragedy. 

Tweet from @tradingMaxiSL on X

In true Filipino fashion, locals also commented on the viral video, preaching repentance as things like this are characteristic to the Lord’s return. Some thanked the Lord for the blessings because of the profit this can give to local fishermen.

However, this begs the question; why is this actually happening?

The answer is simple, and it is definitely not a bad omen or a sign of the Last Judgment. Instead, this is a result of upwelling which occurs when cold water rises to the surface of the ocean. Winds blowing across the ocean surface push water away. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Water then rises up from beneath the surface to replace the water that was pushed away. This process is known as upwelling.”

Photo from National Ocean Service – NOAA

This is a perfectly natural occurrence, and areas where upwelling is common are usually good fishing grounds.

While it’s an interesting phenomenon to witness, it just so happens that the reason behind it is boring old science. Phew.

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Sugbo.ph Contributor
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