Benguela Current

About the Area

The Benguela Current flows north along the west coast of South Africa and Namibia. In the south it meets the warmer Aghulhas Current flowing east from the Indian Ocean and in the north it interacts with the warmer Angolan current flowing south.
This co-mingling of warm and cold currents causes highly productive upwellings - ideal thriving conditions for populations of fish, seabirds and marine mammals, also providing shelter to important migratory bird populations in coastal lagoons and bays.

Local Species
Selected species include the Jackass penguin (Spheniscus demersus) , Disk lamp shell (Discinisca tenuis), Rock lobster (Jasus lalandii), Pilchard (Sardinops ocellatus), Cape horse mackerel (Trachurus capensis), Hake (Merluccius capensis), Cape fur seal (Artocephalus pusillus), Southern right whale (Eubalaena australis), and the rare Heaviside's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus heavisidei).

Threats
Persistent overharvesting of many commercially valuable species and products (e.g., pilchard, anchovy, rock lobster, and seabird guano) and industrial harbour development, especially in Walvis Bay, pose some real threats.

Resources
Size:
N/A

Habitat type:
Temperate Upwelling

Geographic Location:
Southeastern Atlantic Ocean near the southwestern coast of Africa

Conservation Status:
Vulnerable

Quiz Time!

How does this ecoregion help in providing agricultural fertiliser?

Answer:
Tons of seabird and seal excrement have accumulated along the southwest coast of Africa. This guano makes an excellent agricultural fertilizer and is therefore highly valuable. Unfortunately, it is being harvested faster than it is being deposited and extraction destroys habitat.

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