Shoals expected in the next few days

2010-07-01 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL fish eaters should grab their nets, hitch up their skirts and get ready to feast. The sardines are on their way and may be anticipated on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast within the next few days.

Mike Anderson-Reade, head of operations at the KZN Sharks Board (KZNSB), said that during a flight over the coastline on Tuesday, they saw evidence that the annual sardine run is imminent.

Anderson-Reade said operations staff are concerned that the strong north-easterly wind that was experienced on Monday could have caused a rapid drop in water temperature, which often increases sardine activity.

“Apart from many humpback whales [68 counted on the flight] migrating northwards, the KZN coast was very quiet. The interesting activity started off Port Grosvenor on the Wild Coast. Five large schools [greater than 500 animals] of common dolphins were seen between Grosvenor and Mboyti. All these dolphins were moving quickly in a northerly direction. Over a thousand Cape Gannets were seen off Waterfall Bluff. Most of these birds were sitting on the water surface, however, there were a number of groups actively diving,” said Anderson-Reade.

He said this was “the most intense activity” observed over the past three weeks and after receiving a report yesterday morning from a dive boat operating in the Waterfall Bluff area confirming that this activity had increased overnight, the KZNSB is removing the shark safety gear on the lower south coast as a precautionary measure.

“It is possible that the sardines will make their long-awaited appearance on the lower south coast of KZN in the next couple of days.”

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