Durban – As Princess Elsa continues weave her icy spell around parts of the country, the cooler temperatures have brought large pockets of sardines to the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast with lots of activity reported on Monday.
According to Ugu South Coast Tourism, shoals of sardines were sighted with netting taking place at Pennington and Scottburgh.
Dolphins, sharks and gannets were seen pursuing the bait balls. The sardine run is usually a big tourism draw card for the South Coast.
The Sardine Run is an annual attraction whereby sardine shoals move northwards along the coastline, attracting marine life and seine netters.
The KZN South Coast benefits from the Sardine Run action being close to the shore and this year the little fish have already brought a lot of ocean action.
“We had great weather on Monday with spectacular visibility in all directions,” said Noel McDonogh, pilot at World of Wings Flight School, who spent most of the day taking magnificent aerial shots of the Sardine Run activity.
“We’ve spotted sardine shoals off Scottburgh’s Back Beach with many sharks trailing the fish and whales breaching between Clansthal and Aliwal Shoal. There have been bull sharks, more than three-metres in length, spotted among the fish; and a southern right whale seen just one kilometre off the Scottburgh beachfront,” he said.
With recreational fishing and seine netting now allowed under Level 3 – with relevant permits – seine netters have been very busy catching sardines.
Over the past few weeks, Durban fishermen have been on high alert after the first shoal of sardines landed near Warner Beach a few days ago.