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Seine netters have been catching sardines on the lower KwaZulu-Natal South Coast and there are signs that some small shoals are heading north, the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board has confirmed.
Michael Anderson-Read, head of operations at the sharks board, said shark safety nets had been removed at Hibberdene and Umzumbe and on the lower South Coast.
Beachgoers in San Lameer, Margate, St Michaels, Hibberdene and Umzumbe have been urged to check with lifeguards on the status of bathing at the beaches.
He said an observation flight had been undertaken on Monday to confirm the reports of sardine sightings it had received.
“Seine netters managed to net sardines at Hibberdene and the first net produced 280 baskets of sardines with each basket containing between 28 and 30 dozen sardines,” said Anderson-Read.
The second net was small and only 10 baskets of sardines had been netted, he said.
“The shoal of sardines was very small and is moving quickly northwards. There are no signs of any predators accompanying these small shoals.
“Five seine net boats were seen at Mtwalume, however, at the time of writing, no further netting had taken place,” Anderson-Read said.
He said the moderate south-westerly wind had made it difficult for netters to spot shoals.
“Hopefully netting will continue once the wind has abated and conditions calm over the next few days,” Anderson-Read said.
At the weekend, small pockets of sardines were spotted at Red Sands, on the Eastern Cape Coast, said Anderson-Read, citing “reliable sources”.