Coast KZN

01 Jun 2020

Big scramble and police enforcement as sardines land on KZN beach

Zainul Dawood (Daily News) Picture: Sardines have been netted in Ramsgate on the south coast of Kwa-Zulu-Natal. Picture source Screengrab

Durban – Sardines have been netted in Ramsgate on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.  It is alleged that the South African Police Services had arrived at the Margate beach to enforce the strict physical distancing and stipulated number of people in a gathering according to the Covid-19 regulations.

Seasoned netter Brahmanand Outar confirmed that shoals of sardines have been netted. He could only confirm the number of baskets netted during the course of the day.

In April, the Independent on Saturday reported that huge shoals of sardines were spotted off the coast of Port Elizabeth. Durban’s well-known sardine netter, Goolam Essack, 70, from Welbedacht in Chatsworth, confirmed he had received word from down the coast that huge shoals had been spotted.

“I think this year there are going to be some of the biggest shoals we’ve seen for a long time. I’m ready. When the fish come, I’ll be there,” said Essack.

He has been a sardine netter since he was 10 years old, when he learned how to net from his father. Essack said hunger was already biting his local community because people were out of work or had been unable to work since the lockdown began.

“There are a lot of people in Welbedacht who have small or informal businesses. People are really battling now and some have no food. One lady came to my daughter’s tuckshop this week to buy one loaf of bread to last a few days. We are waiting for the government to come and help the people here, there has been no testing and hardly anyone has face masks,” he said.

The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board has been closed during the lockdown period and shark nets were all lifted along the coastline for this period, allowing free movement of marine life, including sharks and dolphins.

Recreational fishing is banned during lockdown.


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