When Earth Touch cameraman Barry Skinstad dropped down beneath the waves off Cape St Francis in South Africa recently, he descended on one impressive squid spawning show. The spawning event takes place along the country's southern coast each year – and attracts a who's who of underwater predators.

Squid lay eggs all year round, but during parts of the South African summer, they move in closer to shore – making it easier to capture these epic egg aggregations on camera (as long as you're prepared to dive down deep enough).

The sausage-shaped squid eggs are laid in large bunches on the sea floor. Once the young emerge, currents will carry them west, but they'll migrate back to these spawning grounds as adults.

Known as the Cape Hope squid (Loligo reynaudii), the species can be found along a lengthy stretch of the South African coastline, where predators like seals, sharks, stingrays and even birds tuck in. 

Of course, it's humans who have the biggest craving for these tasty cephalopods – and our supersized appetites are having an effect. While fishing bans come into force in November to allow the animals to spawn, South Africa's squid supply is still dwindling. More research is needed to pinpoint the exact reasons for the decline, but overfishing is one likely culprit, and the changing climate could also be having an impact.