A partnership between local and international universities, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have uncovered the existence of a new ocean current; the South-west Madagascar Coastal Current. Remember when you were a lightie, struggling to remember which current was the warm one? Well, now it looks like those textbooks are gonna have to be rewritten. For the record, it’s the cold Benguela and the warm Agulhas current that flows around the country’s coast and has a significant influence on the climate. Those involved in the study used multiple methods of observation including data from ships and satellites to find the South-west Madagascar Coastal Current.
“Revealing the existence of the new coastal current is an important discovery for South Africa as it adds to our understanding of the global ocean circulation and brings new insights about biological connectivity between Madagascar and South African marine regions,” said CSIR senior researcher Dr Marjolaine Krug.
The new current has a direct impact on the fishing industry.
“Countries have to manage their coastal and marine resources in a way that will ensure the safeguarding of ecosystems. Sustainability is closely linked to how well we manage our marine resources. The more we understand and know, the better we can manage our marine resources,” said Ramanantsoa of the Nansen-Tutu Centre for Marine Environmental Research, hosted at the department of oceanography at the University of Cape Town.
The research, published in Geophysical Research Letters, says that the current is less than 300m deep and less than 100km wide.