Sardines were sighted and netted near Pennington beach on the south coast in June last year. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)
Sardines were sighted and netted near Pennington beach on the south coast in June last year. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

Sardines headed towards KZN: activity spotted along the Eastern Cape coast

By Sakhiseni Nxumalo Time of article published May 20, 2021

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DURBAN - There have been sightings of shoals of sardines along the Eastern Cape coast line, which are slowly heading towards KwaZulu-Natal.

This is according to the KZN Sharks Board (KZNSB) which conducted a sardine observation flight along the Eastern Cape coast on Wednesday.

According to Greg Thompson, the board's acting head of operations, some decent sized shoals of sardines were sighted between Mngazana Mouth and The Kraal, just south of Brazen Head.

Thompson said these shoals were just behind the back line, moving slowly north.

He said that the most concentrated activity sighted, was further south between the Kei River Mouth right through to Gonubie.

“Thousands of Cape gannets, sitting in big rafts, were spread out in this area, with some groups diving in concentrated spots. These gannets were accompanied by thousands of bottlenose and common dolphins.

“There were numerous, scattered pockets of sardines seen on the surface throughout this area as well,” he said.

Thompson said even though this was a good indication that the silvery fish may make their arrival in KZN, there have been, however many occasions in the past when predictions and opinions have been incorrect.

He said sardines can move through in the deep and arrive in KZN without warning.

He added that there is always the possibility that they continue moving north on the deeper line, and we don’t get to see them at all.

Thompson said there was also an increase in humpback whale sightings, with many animals seen between the Xhora Mouth and the Dwesa Reserve, all moving northwards, toward KZN.

“The Sharks Board will continue to closely monitor sardine activity and remove or replace shark safety gear as required.”

He said the next flight to East London is scheduled for May 27, however, this was dependent on weather conditions.

THE MERCURY

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