Fishermen cash in on sardine haul

2012-07-03 00:00

THE first pockets of sardines caught on the South Coast fetched high prices yesterday, selling for R30 a dozen and R600 to R800 a basket.

Two nets full of the fish were brought ashore at Hibberdene beach in the morning, causing much excitement.

Over 400 people, including holidaymakers, splashed about in the surf as the netters brought in their catches.

Bystanders tried to scoop fish in the shallows and as they fell out of the nets.

About 380 baskets of fish were caught.

Tracy Cornelius, of Pretoria, said: “This was my first sardine experience and it was absolutely amazing. I think all holidaymakers who are here now are getting a bonus in witnessing this amazing spectacle.”

Mike Anderson-Reade, of the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, said the fish were moving quickly along the coast.

“There were five more boats in Mtwalume that tried to net, but the fish were just too fast and they are moving in very thin pockets at the moment.”

Anderson-Reade said that more of the fish could be netted on the South Coast later in the week.

“These are the early pockets. We have received reports that there are more fish moving from Port St Johns, but still in very tiny pockets,”

He said that no sightings had been reported in Durban yet and the sardines were likely to move there closer to the weekend.

“The seas are very rough and the windy conditions are making visibility very difficult, so it is hard to spot the sardines.”

There were also no signs of any predators in the water, he said.

• witness@feveronline.co.za

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