Coast KZN

18 Jun 2018

KZN may be in for a bumper, early sardine run

The Mercury Picture: Hundreds of crates of sardines were netted in Ramsgate at the weekend, as what is expected to be one of the best sardine runs in recent years started.

It looks to be a great sardine run this year with hundreds of crates netted in Ramsgate on the South Coast at the weekend.

Fisherman Tony Outar netted some of the haul at about 9am on Saturday, after reports that they had been spotted swimming up the coast from the Eastern Cape.

“It was a very good run, after many years,” he said.

With all the crates already sold, Outar headed out to Port Shepstone on Sunday.

The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board has removed its nets ¬between Scottburgh and Port Edward, and is looking to ¬remove more as the sardines move up the coast.

“We do this so we don’t catch the dolphins, Cape gannets and sharks following the sardines,” said KZN Sharks Board head of operations, Mike Anderson-Reade.

He said it was exciting to see the sardines along the KZN coast as they had not been seen in large numbers for a number of years.

“It is very difficult to try to predict when and if this spectacle will reach KZN, and the timeline could be anything from a few days to possibly a week or two. Should the fish continue northwards, it appears that we may be in for one of the better sardine runs seen in a long while,” he said.

Ivan van Heerden, who runs Sardine Run South ¬Africa, said the phenomenon attracted tourists and locals, some of whom drove hours to see the fish.

“It’s a very big attraction, and they used to beach in their millions. I’m quite surprised that they’ve come so early this year,” he said.