WATCH | Sharks come in as sardine frenzy continues
Most shark nets on the KwaZulu-Natal coastline have been removed as sardines and associated predators landed on Monday.
KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board head of operations Mike Anderson-Reade said it was highly unlikely for beaches to stay open for bathing when the shark safety gear was removed.
TimesLIVE photographer Jackie Clausen‚ who was at Pennington main beach on Monday morning‚ was filming fishermen setting the silver fish when a shark swam in about two metres away from where she was standing.
“It was about a two-metre long shark. It was exciting seeing a shark that close. I was so busy getting footage that I didn’t notice the wave coming and bringing the shark nearly onto my lap‚” she said.
“Anyone who knows me‚ knows I’m terrified of sharks. Without my camera I would never get that close to a shark. My camera is like my Superman outfit‚” Clausen added.
The KZN Sharks Board said that while they understood that there might be frustration that beaches were closed because of the lifting of the nets‚ it was important to protect beach-goers.
"The Sharks Board understands the frustration sometimes experienced by some beach users at this time of the year when conditions are pleasant for bathers‚ but bathing is restricted due to the removal of the shark safety gear.
“However‚ we appeal to the public to understand and support the reasons for these decisions‚" he said.
The Board would continue to monitor the movement of the shoals and will manage the shark safety gear in consultation with the coastal municipalities that are affected.
Fisherman Bradley Pretorius said he had to “fight off” the sharks to keep his haul of the slippery silver specimens.