Durban – The KwaZulu-Natal South Coast had front row seats, on Tuesday, to one of the planet’s greatest migrations as sardine activity took over the shoreline.
Seine netters were able to catch crateloads of the little silver fish which were joined by a host of predatory marine life including gannets overhead with dolphins and sharks adding to the excitement.
"It was another amazing day of Sardine Run activity and the KZN South Coast has just been buzzing with sardine fever," said CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT), Phelisa Mangcu.
"Big shoals of sardines were seen along the south coast, with netting taking place at Scottburgh and Pennington beaches. Beach visitors enjoyed the chance to witness the incredible ocean action that is so unique to our shores," Mangcu said.
Mangcu said that although it’s not ‘business as usual’ for tourism on the KZN South Coast, the Sardine Run also brings with it lots of economic benefits for the local communities.
"We’re so grateful to those people who have been coming through to support our commercial anglers by buying crates of sardines. There’s also been a lot of support for other local businesses, such as restaurants and cafes, and this is really welcome during these challenging economic times," Mangcu added.
Alongside the sardine action, fishing is excellent at this time of year and USCT has welcomed the return of both recreational and subsistence fishermen, all of whom have enjoyed great success while benefiting from vital food security.
The Sardine Run is an annual winter attraction for the KZN South Coast as the sardine shoals move northwards along the coastline in the cooler waters. The recent cooler weather has seen a rise in shoal activity, bringing with it sightings of sharks and whales, with sea birds and dolphins regular visitors to these silver shoals.