Coast KZN

09 Jun 2021

Bathing banned during sardine season

Vanisha Moodley (South Coast Herald) Picture: Justin Klusener. During the 2020 lockdown, sardine season along the South Coast brought about much excitement.

The KwaZulu-Natal coastline has already had quite a bit of sardine action and wet weather for the past several days, resulting in a temporary ban on bathing/swimming at beaches.

The silver fish are known for bringing along other big game fish and large predators close to shore, and with the shark safety nets being removed to accommodate the sards, it is no longer safe for bathing at beaches from Port Edward to Scottburgh at the moment.

Mid South Coast residents are hoping the sardines make an appearance on their beaches this year. Photo: Justin Klusener.

Umdoni Municipality further added that this temporary ban has also been put in place because of the recent heavy rainfall, rivers flowing directly into the sea and poor sea conditions overall.

Sardine season has brought about much excitement along the South Coast already, even though they have not as yet touched Umdoni shores. The first netting for the year was done at Port Edward at the beginning of the month with some crates selling for around R1500. They have since been moving along the coastline and other nettings have been done at Margate beach, Banana beach, Pumula beach and more recently in Winkelspruit – skipping the mid-South Coast.

Sards were spotted in Ilfracombe just past Umkomaas last week during wet weather, but were not netted. However, there have been reports of residents still going into the water by foot to snatch whatever they could, while they could.

Mid-South Coast residents are still crossing fingers hoping that the popular fish will eventually be netted in the Umdoni area this season and are patiently waiting their highly anticipated arrival at local beaches.