Sharks Board to begin monitoring sardine run from next week

Posted by David Henning on 4 May 2022

The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks’ Board predicts that South Africa’s east coast is in for another good sardine run as it prepares to begin monitoring the natural phenomenon from the second week in May.

‘Temperature is the main thing that dictates the timing and extent of the movement up the coast. It has been an unusual couple of years in that they’ve been very wet,’ said Greg Thompson, operations manager for the Sharks’ Board.

‘But 2020 and 2021 were relatively good Sardine Runs, both of which were similarly wet being La Niña years. It’s holding the same pattern, so I think we’re going to get another good one. But we’ll have to wait and see!’

Currently, small shoals are beginning to appear in the Western Cape, specifically in the Plettenberg Bay area. ‘We know they’re down in the Cape, the question is will they come up here?’ Dr Ryan Daly of the Oceanographic Research Institute in Durban told IOL.

‘It’s fairly easy to monitor large quantities of sardines with associated predators in pursuit, but the small pilot shoals that pop up out of nowhere can be a challenge. Therefore, we also rely on the information and sightings we receive from the residents, fisherman and dive charters in the Eastern Cape.’

Daly commented that the impact of the KZN flood on the ocean had largely passed and that it should not affect the sardine run.

Ugu South Coast Tourism chief executive, Phelisa Mangcu, said that the Sardine Run was the highlight of the KZN South Coast’s tourism calendar.

In fact, the sardine run became the most instragrammable scuba diving spot, with 23 999 hashtags, more than Tiger Beach in the Bahamas and Tubbataha Reef in the Philippines.

‘Every year from May to July, scuba divers have the opportunity to witness the magnificent view of billions of sardines swimming up the coast of South Africa towards Mozambique,’ Mangcu added.


Sardine run in full swing: Diving with the greatest shoal on earth

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