By Mike Jones

An underwater photographer was able to capture a huge ball bait on camera during the annual sardine run.

Rainer Schimpf, 51, from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, who works as a photographer, filmmaker and marine tour operator, was able to capture the mesmerising scene at the Algoa Bay earlier this year.

PIC BY Rainer Schimpf / CATERS NEWS

The Sardine Run occurs annually every year as sardines, mackerel and garfish gather in shoals before winter storms hit the coast.

The fish move north along the Eastern Cape up towards Durban and can cover a distance of just over 600 miles along the eastern coastline over a period of six months.

Rainer said: “They build so-called ‘bait balls’ which protect the individual fish better from possible predators such as whales, dolphins, sharks and birds.

PIC BY Rainer Schimpf / CATERS NEWS 

“Most people are amazed to see whats going on out at sea.

“Most amazing to me until today is the fact that within South Africa and even around Port Elizabeth not many people are even aware that we have whales, dolphins, sharks and fish.

“This is my part were I try to educate and make people aware with my pictures.

“We exhibit, promote and train people to become aware of the marine environment the need to protect it.”

PIC BY Rainer Schimpf / CATERS NEWS 

“I started taking pictures when I was 10 years old.

“From the beginning I loved to capture wildlife and nature and my love was my interpretation in the pictures.

“Later in South Africa, a new challenge was out there. The Indian ocean, and I took it on above and below water.”