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Bumper sardine run could be just around the corner

Lungi Langa

Sardines were selling at R600 a basket as the frenzy moved up to Park Rynie, extending from Pennington, on the South Coast yesterday.

Mike Anderson-Reade of the KZN Sharks Board said extensive netting took place at Pennington.

“Some large nets of 200-300 baskets were taken, and the fish are still commanding a price of R600 a basket.

“We expect these fish to move north overnight, possibly reaching as far north as Amanzimtoti by Thursday (tomorrow),” he said.

Anderson-Reade said a flight showed a large gathering of sardine predators off Port Grosvenor off the Wild Coast. “We expect these fish to continue to the KwaZulu-Natal coast over the next week,” he said.

“Further south we were greeted by a spectacle of thousands of Cape Gannets and dolphins, stretching in a continuous line for about 6km from Brazen Head to just north of the Umtata River.

“This is a massive shoal of sardines which, if they continue to the coast of KwaZulu-Natal, may produce a spectacular bumper run,” he said.

The sharks board would monitor the shoal as it would have a direct bearing on decisions regarding the timing of the placement of shark safety gear along the coast.

Anderson-Reade said shark nets had been removed south of Durban to accommodate the movement of the fish. He advised people to consult lifesavers before entering the sea at popular beaches.

South Coast Tourism CEO Michael Bertram said much excitement had been generated by the spectacle.

He hoped the sardine run would last into the school holidays, which begin next week.

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