Thu. Jul 18th, 2019

The greatest shoal: Durban locals gear up for annual Sardine Run

Durban sardine runDurban locals and tourists gear up for the annual Sardine Run.

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This year Durban residents are preparing for the Sardine run. Massive shoals of sardines are expected to swim past the KZN South Coast.

Shoals have already been seen in Waterfall Buff in the Port St Johns area.

Early in June, the Head of Operations for the Kwa-Zulu Natal Sharks Board, Greg Thompson, had confirmed sporadic sightings in the area north of Hole in the Wall and Coffee Bay.

Before, the shoals had first been spotted in the Eastern Cape area while gannets were sighted further north and were most likely feeding on baitfish.

“We feel that could be baitfish rather than sardines. But there are two days of southwesterly winds due this week, so hopefully, things will start moving after that.”

The Sardine Run takes place every year and in 2018, eNCA reported that Durban beaches temporarily closed for this event.

What is the Sardine Run?

Every year during the early Winter months the Sardine Run takes place when large shoals of sardines migrate to the waters of the Southern Coast of the KwaZulu-Natal Province.

Why do the Shoals of Sardines migrate?

According to the KZN Sharks Board most of the country’s sardine along in the Cape waters due to the cooler waters, small amounts will migrate up the east coast to get to the seasonally cooler water.

Why is the Sardine Run popular?

The Sardine Run has also been called “The Greatest Shoal on Earth” and has become a popular tourist attraction.

Local fishermen and communities take advantage of the fact that during this event sardines are pushed ashore.

During the Sardine Run the public is able to watch for free. However, anglers and those using nets will need permits.

Sardines can grow up to 20cm long and don’t live longer than three years. A mature female can produce thousands of eggs during her life.

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