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Swimming suspended at these KZN beaches due to sardines

The Sardine Run, known as the ‘Greatest Shoal’ on earth, has officially commenced, marking a unique natural phenomenon.

IT IS THAT TIME OF THE YEAR – THE GREATEST SHOAL ON EARTH

Fishermen reported the first significant net hauls on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.As a result, authorities suspended swimming at these beaches due to shark activity around the shoal.

Wayne Harrison from the KZN Sharks Board suggested that the public avoid swimming for now, because the shoal is expected to head towards Durban depending on wind and currents.

DO NOT SWIM AT BEACHES DUE TO THE SARDINE RUN

“From iSiphingo right through to Port Edward.”

Harrison says Ansteys Beach and Brighton Beach south of Durban will be closed to bathing starting Tuesday. 

“Sharks have been quite spectacular during the morning, leaping out the water, spinning in the air, and an absolute classical sight of a dolphin.”  

SHARKS ACTIVITY HAS INCREASED ALONG THE COAST

The first big net hauls of the Greatest Shoal on earth began in Hibberdene and Lucien Beach near Margate on Sunday. 

Though the Sardine Run is a natural phenomenon, much debate remains about the exact cause.

It typically takes place between May and July in KwaZulu-Natal’s warmer waters, and the shoals can stretch for 7km and involve billions of fish.

In addition to many predators, such as whales and sharks, the sardines attract many international visitors, some of whom charter vessels to witness the spectacle.

A SHARK WASHED OUT ON MONDAY IN UVONGO

Meanwhile, a shark washed up on the rocks at Uvongo on Monday.

It is believed it was also pregnant with a few puppies.

What happens during the Sardine Run?

The Sardine Run is a global migration in which millions of southern African pilchards—also known as sardines—move along the coastline in massive shoals that stretch on for miles. The movement is impressive in itself, but it also attracts hungry marine predators, including dolphins, sharks, whales, seabirds, and game fish, making it a spectacular event.

Why does the Sardine Run happen?

Scientists have investigated the migration, noting there seems to be little reason for the fish to migrate, and suggest the Sardine Run happens because of the sardines’ reproductive cycle.

The sardines originate from South Africa’s cool-temperate Atlantic coast, moving along the coastline to the temporary cold-water upwelling off the southeast coast.

How can you experience the Sardine Run?

Deborah Ludick, acting CEO of SCTIE, stated, “Visitors can best experience the Sardine Run on the KZN South Coast, where our tourism operators are eager to welcome them.”

There are so many ways to experience it from land, sea, and sky—it just depends on your preference:

  • From boats: Many charter boats will take guests out for a close-up experience of the annual Sardine Run. These include watching from the boat, snorkeling or, scuba diving at Aliwal Shoal or Protea Banks, or deep-sea fishing.
  • From viewing decks: Catch the Sardine Run action and whale migration from the beaches or one of the many whale decks, including Umtentweni Conservancy Whale Deck, Ramsgate Whale Deck, Impithi Beach Kiosk, and Umdoni Golf Club Whale Deck.
  • From the eateries: The KZN South Coast has many ocean-facing pubs, bars and restaurants that serve delicious seafood meals with great views. Take in the Sardine Run while enjoying a cocktail or a great dish.
  • From the skies: Get another perspective by checking out the Sardine Run from a microlight, helicopter, or light aircraft. Txperienced local pilots plan flights over this ocean spectacle

Keep updated on all the Sardine Run actions by visiting the KZN South Coast website or following South Coast Tourism on Facebook or YouTube.

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