The ongoing cold spell has seen sardine activity increase in KwaZulu-Natal, South Coast and Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) revealed. While South Africans are on lockdown, USCT is showcasing the Sardine Run virtually. The team will upload videos, images and share the latest information on the Sardine Run.
Videos and images taken by Dr Ryan Daly of the Oceanographic Research Institute while out spearfishing near Scottburgh show shoals of sardines in all its glory. On the experience, Daly said: “What a bonanza of fish we saw yesterday, it was overwhelming with so many sardines. As both a scientist and someone who has been following the sardines for many years, it was amazing to see the volume of sardines.”
He said it had been the most sardines he’d ever seen on the KZN South Coast.
“With climate change, potential pressure from commercial fishing and shifts in the way animals respond to environments, many scientists were worried that bumper Sardine Runs were a thing of the past, so it’s fantastic to see the surge in its activity. It should bode well for a great season.
“We don’t know how much activity there was on the Wild Coast and whether this is just a pocket that showed up on the South Coast, or if it was preceded by a much larger volume. We’ll just have to wait to see, over the next few weeks, if this is followed by even more sardines. We certainly are way overdue for a big run,” he said.
Daly added that the sardine volume had attracted dusky sharks, bronze whaler sharks and spinner sharks to feed on the shoals, as well as big game fish such as couta fish, tuna and snoek.
CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism, Phelisa Mangcu, revealed it has been one of the best Sardine Runs the KZN South Coast has experienced in years.
Mangcu said that the recent cold spell had proved particularly beneficial, bringing shoals of sardines to various locations along the coastline with netting taking place at Sezela, Ramsgate, Scottburgh, Southbroom and Pennington over the past few days.
“This is only the start of this winter event, and we’re looking forward to ongoing marine activity over the coming days.”