Coast KZN

31 May 2017

Winter is here, so where are the sardines?

Judi Davis (South Coast Herald) Picture: South Coast residents eagerly await the arrival of the sardines. Will they show up this year? (File Photo)


KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board is keeping a close lookout for the ‘greatest shoals’.

As winter approaches, it is all eyes out to sea for South Coast anglers and nature lovers, who are watching out for the first signs of the sardine run.

Unfortunately, KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board head of operations, Mike Anderson-Reade didn’t have good news regarding the ‘greatest shoals’. He completed the first sardine spotting flight of the season along the coast between Durban and the Eastern Cape on Tuesday last week and saw absolutely no sign of the fish or the predators that accompany the shoals. He will do another flight later this week so might have better news soon.

The sharks board keeps a close eye on the sardine situation during the winter months as it removes shark safety gear ahead of the shoals to prevent unnecessary fatalities of marine creatures like sharks and dolphins.

There is, however, some good news on the sardine front with reports of sightings coming in from the Eastern Cape.

In an Aliwal Shoal Diving Charters Facebook post it was reported that large shoals of sardines, one the size of a rugby field and many between the shore and backline, had been spotted at an undisclosed location on the Wild Coast recently. According to the post the shoals were accompanied by many gannets and dolphins.

A member of Margate Light Plane Club said that large sardine shoals had been spotted at the Wild Coast’s Mazeppa Bay, very close to the beach. There are also reports that Wild Coast sea temperatures have dropped recently. This bodes well for a good sardine run.