DURBAN - FISHERMAN and members of the public at the Pennington Beach on the KwaZulu-Natal South coast were competing with sharks for sardines on Tuesday.
The fishermen and members of the public struggled to keep sharks away from their netted sardines.
In videos circulating on social media, the fishermen struggle to pull their net filled with sardines out of the water at Pennington beach, which is just over 10km from Scottburgh, as several sharks surf the waves inches from them.
A resident said he could not contain his excitement: “We are walking through sardines, look at this net… absolutely full.”
On Tuesday, the KZN Sharks Board’s acting head of operations Greg Thompson, said the board conducted a sardine observation flight through to Rame Head in the Eastern Cape yesterday.
Thompson said there is a good chance of sardine action between Warner Beach and Scottburgh today.
“As we all know, there are no guarantees with sardines but there is a good chance that the areas between Warner Beach and Scottburgh may be a good bet for tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) action,” he said.
Thompson said the first signs of sardine activity he observed was at Scottburgh.
“Large shoals of sardines were seen scattered throughout this area, just behind the backline and in the surf zone.
“Netting took place from first light where they netted approximately 14 times during the morning at Scottburgh main beach.”
Thompson said there were also reports of some shark activity among those pockets.
During the observation flight, the next concentration of activity was in Eastern Cape waters between Port Grosvenor and Luputhana.
“Here there were numerous pods of Bottlenose dolphins together with scattered gannet activity, all moving north,” said Thompson, adding that most of the action was in a thin belt of discoloured water just behind the back line.
Large concentrations of around 1 500 bottlenose and about 5 000 common dolphins were spotted further south between the Mngazi Mouth and Rame Head he said.
However, he said there were no shoals of sardines visible on the surface in that area.
Thompson said the Sharks Board would continue to closely monitor sardine activity and remove or replace shark safety gear as required.
“Bathing is still banned from Port Edward to Isipingo, as a precaution due to the sardine movement,” he said.