The acting head of operations at KZNSB, Greg Thompson, said there had been an increase in sardine activity on the South Coast, especially between Bazely and Amanzimtoti, over the past few days.
He said reports came in at first light on Wednesday morning, as shoals of sardines started rising to the surface about 1km offshore from Kelso through to Umdoni Point – roughly a 5km stretch.
“There were scattered shoals inshore as well, but these shoals looked thin on the surface. Sharks were seen jumping in amongst the offshore shoals and there were 40-50 Cape Gannets diving in this area. At one stage, yellowfin tuna were seen smashing through some of the inshore shoals,” Thompson said on Thursday.
He said there were also numerous attempted nettings which were unsuccessful at Pennington, Scottburgh, Illovo and Winkle.
However, there were two confirmed nettings at Amanzimtoti.
“The two nets consisted of around 15 crates and 250 crates. It was also reported that there was quite a lot of game fish activity with the sardines in this area,” he said.
Thompson said that, by Wednesday afternoon, pockets of sardines had moved right into Scottburgh.
With the weather due to change on Friday, the “very unpredictable” fish could soon disappear, Thompson said.
He said there had also been activity as far south as Port Edward on Thursday morning, with sardines netted at Hibberdene.
“At the moment, the bathing between Isipingo and Port Edward is banned due to the sardine related activity in these areas. If you are unsure about the bathing status, please make sure you chat to the lifeguards before entering the water.”
Thompson added that the KZNSB would continue to monitor activity in the coming days.