Is that a sardine in your suitcase‚ sir?

20 June 2018 - 11:08 By Nivashni Nair
Sardine fever has hit the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.
Sardine fever has hit the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.

Sardines on a plane? No‚ it's not the title of the next instalment of Snakes on a Plane‚ the Hollywood thriller starring Samuel L Jackson as an FBI agent battling against slithery creatures.

Instead it's the question being asked on social media about a widely circulated image of a notice – that has been confirmed to be fake - at Durban's King Shaka International Airport.

The manipulated image‚ riddled with spelling and grammatical errors‚ states that the Airports Company South Africa would not be allowing sardines aboard flights from Durban to Johannesburg.

"We wish to inform all travellers‚ especially our Indian travellers from Durban to JHB‚ that we no longer allow the carriage of sardines whether it be checked in luggage or carry-on luggage. Whether its frozen or fried is also irrelevant. Our staff have been advised to confiscate stock. Thanks for your co-operation."

Acsa spokesperson in Durban Colin Naidoo said the image did not originate from airport management and he distanced the company – which manages major airports in the country - from it.

But can travellers take sardines aboard an aircraft? Naidoo declined to answer. So it's anyone's guess whether the fish can take flight.

Sardine fever has hit the KwaZulu-Natal south coast as residents‚ fishermen and early holidaymakers make their way to the beaches to experience the annual phenomenon.

Each winter‚ most often in June or July‚ sardines leave the cold waters off Cape Point and make their way to KwaZulu-Natal.

KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board head of operations and official lookout Mike Anderson-Reade predicts that the sardines will hit the shore in Durban by the weekend‚ coinciding with the start of the school holidays.