Pictures and videos showed the unusual phenomenon as the Far Eastern Sardines, also known as iwashi, were swept onto the coastline. Beaches were literally carpeted with sardines.
Fish expert Nikolay Kim said the weather conditions had caused ‘strong daily fluctuations’ in water temperature. ‘In the afternoon it is warm, but at night the temperature falls sharply,’ he said. ‘The sardines cannot withstand such fluctuations and can be found in a large number on the shore.’
In such conditions, the fish become inactive – and are swept ashore by waves. These sardines are found in in subtropical waters but in early summer migrate to the south-west coast of Sakhalin for fattening, staying until mid-October.
News agency Interfax – Far East reported that water in the southern part of the Tatar Strait warmed to 20C, but a recent cyclone led to a sharp decrease in its temperature.
For locals it was a bonanza, and a free lunch. Experts say the fish are edible.
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