Elephant seal makes a surprise appearance at Zinkwazi
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UPDATE: July 25
SEINE netters scooped about 150 crates of sardines at Umnini Beach near Umgababa this morning and many shoals of the little silver fish have been spotted around Umkomaas today.
However, Mike Anderson-Reade, KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board’s head of operations, said the sardine situation on the Lower South Coast, which had caused great excitement yesterday, had calmed down today and no further nettings had taken place here.
Shark safety gear, removed at all beaches between and including Hibberdene and Port Edward yesterday in the wake of the arrival of the shoals, had not been replaced. Sharks board was monitoring the situation and would reinstate the gear at the busier beaches as soon as it was feasible, he said.
Pic supplied by WhatsApp contact Akshay Maharaj
UPDATE 4pm, July 24
SARDINE excitement continues on the Lower South Coast where a number of nettings have taken place today.
Mike Anderson-Reade, head of operations for KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board has been monitoring the situation closely. Shark safety gear had been removed from all beaches between and including Hibberdene and Port Edward, in spite of the fact that there did not appear to be much predator activity accompanying the shoals, he said.
He reported that there had been numerous shoals of sardines spotted between St Michael’s and Ramsgate. Netting by commercial seine netters had taken place at Ski-Boat Bay in Ramsgate, Ramsgate Main Beach, Margate and St Michael’s on Sea. Some of these nets had been very good hauls, in the region of 120 crates of sardines.
Two small nets of mixed baitfish, which had included sardines, had also been brought in at Umkomaas.
“This activity on the Lower South Coast is currently ongoing and may continue over the next few days,” he said.
Anglers say that when the first nets were brought in today, seine netters were selling their catches at a premium price of between R1 000 and R800 a crate.
It appears as if pockets of the fish have now made their way to St Mike’s.
According to reporter Sugan Naidoo who is at Margate beach, further attempts to net the fish have proved largely unsuccessful thus far.
There are unconfirmed reports that the netters are now moving to St Michael’s.
According the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board head of operations, Mike Anderson-Reade, 10 nets were brought in at Scottburgh over the weekend and local anglers say shoals have been spotted offshore in some South Coast areas.
Mike said it was puzzling that the shoals, which seemed to be made up of a mixture of sardines and other bait fish, had not been accompanied by the usual predators like Cape gannets and dolphins.
Shark safety equipment had been removed at Margate beach to prevent unnecessary deaths of sharks and other sea creatures that might be attracted to this area by the recent netting.
Sharks board had not yet removed any other nets but was monitoring the situation closely, Mike said.
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