Coast KZN

08 Aug 2023

Sardines make another run in Toti

Vusi Mthalane (South Coast Sun) Picture: Crateloads of sardines being hauled from Warner Beach

From Amanzimtoti to Umgababa, fisherfolk have thanked last week’s cold spell as it brought with it shoals of sardines as well as other fish, confirming that the sardine run is not over.

The annual sardine run is a unique phenomenon that happens in winter when the cold waters of the Agulhas Bank Current in the Western Cape flow north towards KwaZulu-Natal. Millions of sardines in the Western Cape then follow the current up the coast in massive shoals, creating a feeding frenzy in its wake with sharks, whales, birds and other fish.

Local photographer Anton Kieck witnessed the netting of the sardines in Warner Beach on Saturday, July 29 and took photos. Sapphire Coast Tourism has said the phenomenon has proven to be good for tourism in the area.

“Swimming close to shore, the sardines attract seine netters, anglers and even residents keen to catch a few of these delicious fish. But beyond the delicious dishes they make, sardines also attract other natural predators in the form of game fish, dolphins, whales, sharks and seabirds overhead. This makes for some spectacular snorkelling, diving and boat excursions along the Sapphire Coast,” it said in a statement.

Kavir Singh, a fisherman who took advantage of the good fishing conditions, landed a massive Yellowtail Kingfish.

Kavir Singh with his Yellowtail catch.