Sardine sellers' fish for high prices on KZN south coast

01 July 2019 - 11:18 By NIVASHNI NAIR
The catch at Pennington on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast in June 2018.
The catch at Pennington on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast in June 2018.

Crates of sardines that were netted in Amanzimtoti on Saturday and Sunday sold for R1,500 each.

The first crates of at least 30 dozen fish are usually the most expensive. By the end of the sardine run‚ a dozen fish will cost between R10 and R20.

On Sunday, a dozen of the tiny silver fish went on sale for about R60.

KZN Sharks Board received reports of netting of sardines south of Durban on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

"The netting in that area continued on Sunday, with about five nets of actual sardines being netted. There were many missed nets in between, where an attempted netting comes back empty," said the board's acting head of operations, Greg Thompson.

Despite the poor show on Monday, Thompson said reports of activity in the Eastern Cape "could be a sign of things to come".

"So far there haven't been too many signs of associated predators, like sharks, game fish, dolphins or Cape gannets with these first pockets of fish. As we all know, it is always best to take full advantage of sardines when the action is happening, as it can end as quickly as it started. Then again, let's hope that this is the start of a good season. Only time will tell."

Each winter‚ most often in June or July‚ millions of the silvery fish leave the cold waters off Cape Point and make their way up the coast to KwaZulu-Natal.

And each year‚ holiday-makers flock to the province to catch a glimpse of the spectacle, dubbed the Greatest Shoal on Earth. It includes sharks‚ birds and dolphins in a feeding frenzy as they prey on the sardines.