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Durban – Anglers and members of the public got up close and personal with a grey shark during the sardine run in eManzimtoti on Sunday. An angler had sent out his line into the deep waters to land himself a big fish and was not surprised with what he caught and later released.
The Grey Shark that was landed by Nikael Reddy. Picture by Nikael Reddy
Nikael Reddy,16, of Verulam said he arrived on the beach shortly after the sardine netters had completed their haul. He then bought some sardines, used them for bait, and sent his line out 250 meters from the sea shore using a revo 4 drone. The grade 11 pupil is an ardent fishermen on any of the beaches on the KwaZulu-Natal coastline.
Nikael Reddy on the Amanzimtoti Beach shoreline. Picture supplied by Nikael Reddy
Reddy hooked a 262cm Grey Shark but not without a struggle.
“Major thanks to uncle Jace Govender for going out of his way to free my line from other anglers and for the release! Major respect to you! Thank you to the other that offered their assistance,”Reddy wrote on Facebook.
In short video clips of the catch from bystanders on the sea shore three guys can be seen tussling with the shark in the shallow waters while waves continue to crash onto them. They managed to pull at the shark and Reddy managed to reel it in.
“If you going to target these beasts please do use the heaviest tackle that you can! With the help of my tiagra 50wii, 100lb hmp and .80 awashima I had this beast on the shore in under an hour!”Reddy said.
The KZN Sharks Board (KZNSB) said that a melee of predators accompany the sardine shoals is problematic, not just to the sardines, but also to the KZNSB. The shark nets that provide bather protection along the beaches take a heavy toll of sharks and dolphins if they are not lifted before the arrival of the Sardine Run. In addition, damage to the nets themselves carries a heavy financial cost to the KZNSB.
The organization’s ability to monitor the movements of the run has improved over the years. Although it has long been Board practice to lift the nets prior to the arrival of the shoals, the organisation’s capacity to monitor the movements of the shoals has improved over the years. This capacity was significantly enhanced by the acquisition of an aircraft, enabling the Board to conduct regular sardine monitoring flights. The improvement in monitoring efficiency is demonstrated by the following figures. In the decade from 1978 to 1987, an average of 356 sharks was caught annually at the beaches south of Durban in the June-July period. In the subsequent decade, 1988-1997, this number was reduced to 228 sharks and in the decade 1998-2007 further to 50 sharks (41.3% released).
The KZNSB said the dramatic reduction in catches has been achieved not only by improved monitoring but also by removing the nets slightly earlier than was previously the case and by keeping them out of the water until all indications suggest that the Sardine Run is over.
For videos: see Online Article