Gannets and dolphins signal a start to the sardine run

06 June 2016 - 15:22 By Taschica Pillay

Sardine fever is just around the corner as the tiny silver fish head from the Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal.The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board reported the first signs of increased sardine shoals off the Eastern Cape coast in the area between Coffee Bay and Hole in the Wall‚ about 140km south of KwaZulu-Natal.Chinese fishing boat held after chaseA red tide of illegal fishing could be heading for South African waters. Mike Anderson-Reade‚ KZN Sharks Board head of operations‚ said on Monday: "Hundreds of Cape gannets were seen actively diving and sitting on the water surface. There is also an abundance of common dolphins feeding in this area which generally is a good sign of sardine activity.'Sardine raiders' tracked by phoneAre Chinese fishing trawlers going rogue off South Africa's east coast to plunder the country's sardines? "The area of fairly intense activity stretches for about 10km. There were no visible signs of shoals of sardines‚ however the feeding activity of both the gannets and dolphins suggests that there are fish in the area."He said shark safety nets were in place along the coast and all beaches were open for bathing.The KZN Sharks Board will continue to closely monitor sardine activity and remove or replace shark safety gear as required. - TMG Digital/Durban Bureau

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