KZN bad weather blamed for fewer sardines being netted
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DURBAN - BAD weather has been blamed for this year’s poor start to the sardine run.
Fishermen revealed that they are netting fewer crates of sardines compared with the same period last year.
Durban fishermen said they were unable to net or fish for three days – from Tuesday to Friday last week – due to inclement weather conditions.
According to seasoned netter, Brahmanand Tony Outar, the brown sea water and bad weather had affected their netting, with fewer fish coming towards the shores.
Outar said that regardless of the challenges, he was happy that he had a successful netting yesterday at Winklespruit, south of Durban.
“Being an experienced netter, you have to rely on your instincts, thus I was able to have two successful nettings. On the first net, I got about 80 crates and 90 on the second net. This year is not as good as last year which was much better,” he said.
Outar said they were happy with what they’ve netted for the past two days, and hoped for more in the week.
“It is possible that they can be netted around eManzimtoti beaches tomorrow (today) and possibly be around the Durban beaches in the next two weeks.”
The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board shared the same sentiment regarding the number of sardines being netted, saying poor water visibility and unsettled sea conditions were hampering the spotting of the pockets of sardines at the moment.
Head of the department of operations at the Sharks Board, Greg Thompson, said the past weekend provided some relief for the fishermen. On Saturday at Banana Beach, two small nets of approximately 14 crates and 20 crates were netted.
Thompson said that the following day, there were four successful nets at Pumula and one at the Big Fisherman/ Aloes beach.
“These nets were slightly larger hauls ranging from 40 to 150 crates, with the price of these crates starting at R1 200 in the morning, dropping to R900 by the afternoon.
“There were a lot of sharks seen feeding and breaching in the area between Umtentweni and Scottburgh beach on Sunday. This is an obvious sign that the sardines shoals are fairly concentrated and spread out over a large area.”
Thompson said they were hopeful that as the week progressed, there would be an improvement in the weather conditions.
Thompson confirmed that bathing was still banned at beaches from Port Edward through to Isipingo as a precaution due to the sardine run.
Residents were also urged to adhere to the ban due to shark activity whenever there are sardines.