20 June 2005

Sardine fever has hit KwaZulu Natal South Coast

The sardines have arrived! Holidaymakers and locals enjoyed themselves on Monday catching the slippery silver fish when they beached at Hibberdene on the South Coast.

Mike Anderson-Reade, Deputy CEO of the Natal Sharks Board, said that the large shoal of sardines brought thousands of dolphins to the coast. "There is lots of sardine activity on the coast. Thousands of common and bottlenose dolphins were spotted chasing the sardines," he said.

Anderson-Reade said that sardines were spotted at Port Edward, Glenmore and Pumula beaches over the weekend. "Sardine activity is definitely heating up."

However, it is difficult to say where they will move to next," he said.

According to Anderson-Reade, some fishermen netted around 500 baskets of sardines at some beaches while local people gathered to watch the fun. He said that sardines sold for around R220 a basket at first but the price quickly dropped to R120 a basket.

"It was definitely a good day for everyone down at the beach," said Anderson-Reade.

Sagie Naidoo, a local fisherman, said that Hibberdene beach was a hive of activity as fishermen jostled to get their nets out.

"It has been a bumper day for all at the beach. Children were trying to grab the sardines with their hands. There's even a television crew down here trying to get a piece of the action," he laughed.

Naidoo said that he had netted sardines for the first time on Monday since they had arrived on the coast and was excited about their arrival. "There are several other fishermen at the beach, all trying to bring in their sardine laden nets," said Naidoo.

In the late afternoon, fishermen packed up and headed in convoy to Umzumbe Beach, where the sardines advanced.

The beach was busy with local fishermen, children and tourists in the water trying to catch as many sardines as possible.

People ran to and fro with buckets and plastic bags full of the fish while others were happy to catch the sardines on camera.

Source: www.iol.co.za


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