Coast KZN

26 Jun 2020

Sardine Run 2020 update – where are they now?

Shona Alyward ( South Coast Herald) Picture: FILE PHOTO A seine net packed with sardines. PHOTO BY JUSTIN KLUSENER

The KZN Sharks Board conducted a sardine patrol flight on Tuesday, June 23 through to the Hole in the Wall in the Eastern Cape. There were large shoals of sardines sighted between Scottburgh and Mtwalume, but most of these pockets were scattered and not the solid concentrations of shoals seen over the past few weeks.

Throughout the Eastern Cape there were large numbers of dolphins and gannets seen, with the biggest concentration of gannets sighted at Hole in the Wall. There were no visible signs of sardines, only the associated predators that follow the shoals. This often happens when the pockets move offshore into deeper water.

Acting HOD of Operations, Greg Thompson said that although they did not fly north, the information they received was that there had been sardines sighted on a deeper line between Umhlanga and Salt Rock.


“It seems that once again the sardines have reached the Bluff area and moved out onto a deeper line missing the Durban beachfront, for now. This can change overnight though and often happens when the fish return south. There is still a good chance they will end up on the Durban beachfront.”

On Wednesday, June 24 most of the activity was reported to be between Bazley and Mtwalume where two nets were reported. There were also reports of hundreds of sharks spotted in this area and in the afternoon the gannets arrived again in their hundreds. This has not occurred in KZN in many years and is a sight to behold.

There were also reports of netting taking place at Umgababa.

Due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19  lockdown and in accordance with lockdown legislation and regulations, all shark safety gear was removed on March 24. No date has been given as to when the beaches will be opened. Only then will the installation of shark safety gear be planned.