The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board has banned bathing on public beaches along the south coast of the province after shark nets were lifted to accommodate an annual sardine run. File picture: Pexels
The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board has banned bathing on public beaches along the south coast of the province after shark nets were lifted to accommodate an annual sardine run. File picture: Pexels

KZN sharks board bans swimming amid sardine run

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Jun 4, 2021

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Durban: The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board has banned bathing on public beaches along the South Coast of the province after shark nets were lifted to accommodate an annual sardine run, according to a statement on social media.

Bathing in beaches from Port Edward up to Scottburgh has been prohibited for now, acting head of the department of operations at the Sharks Board Greg Thompson said in a post on Facebook group Sardine Run 2021.

“The beaches between Umgababa and Isipingo have also been banned due to flooding rivers and muddy sea conditions,” Thompson said, adding that should the current bad weather conditions persist, making it impossible to service the shark nets, beaches along the northern coast of KZN may be closed to bathers as well.

A Youtube video posted on Friday by local fishing channel True North Fishing, confirmed that the sardines were coming out at the Margate beach, on the south coast of KZN.

Since the first documented sardine netting in 1853, the sardine run typically lasted from May to July, according to Oceans Africa..

Last week, the sharks board conducted an oversight of the sardine run and spotted various different marine species like sharks and dolphins pushing one of the biggest shoals on earth, closer to KZN waters.

However, Thompson said last week there was a possibility of the shoal swimming past the province and into northern waters.

“An interesting observation as we moved further south, was the sighting of very large pods of bottlenose dolphins, moving right inside the backline which we normally associate with the sardine movement. There were two pods of approximately 400-500 animals per pod between Brazen Head and the Kraal Backpackers,” Thompson said in a statement.

“These indications are all positive that the sardines are making their way up the Eastern Cape towards KwaZulu-Natal and are possibly a few days away.”

Videos and images circulating on social media have shown fisherman and their crew netting the winter swimmers by the thousands, with members from the media and the public getting in on the action.

– African News Agency

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