Shoals of Sardines hit KwaZulu-Natal beach

Sardines in nets
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Shoals of sardines have hit KwaZulu-Natal south coast beaches between Pennington and Sezela on Monday morning.

KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board head of operations, Mike Anderson-Reed, says this comes after the first netting of this year’s sardine run took place at Kelso at the end of last week.

He says there is a lot of activity on the beaches, but that sharks are chasing the shoals fast up the coast.

Anderson-Reed says seine netters are very busy at Ramsgate and Margate. “The guys, early morning, five boats in the water, I don’t know the total number of nets that were taken, but certainly it was in excess of 10 during the day. In fact, by the afternoon the guys were basically just giving sardines away down at Ramsgate Beach. First net they went in there was about 1000 baskets and then after that you know there were up to 500 baskets a net. So it was very, very busy,” Anderson-Reed explains.

Meanwhile, Anderson-Reed is now flying down the coast towards the Transkei Wild Coast to get a better idea if these shoals are only the front-runners of the main shoals, which were spotted south of Port St. Johns at the end of last week.

Anderson-Reed says this year has the promise of a spectacular sardine run which were last seen in KwaZulu-Natal in 2010 .

“We know that there’s still a lot of activity in the Port St. Johns area and the area stretching through from there southwards to Koffie Bay.  Whether those fish actually make it onto the KZN coast is anyone’s guess. But certainly what we have on the coast at the moment is very spectacular, very nice; similar to the sardine runs we’ve had many years ago. There are a lot of dolphins, lot of gannets, so it’s a sardine run like our older people recall,” Anderson-Reed says.