Scientists say that this year KwaZulu-Natal is likely to experience another big run on sardines.
Billions of fish make their way annually from the shores of Cape Augulias, off the coast of the province north to Mozambique and finally the Indian Ocean.
Experts say a large shoal has already been spotted in the Plettenburg Bay area on the Western Cape.
The countdown to the long-awaited ocean spectacle along the southern coast of KwaZulu-Natal has begun. The big Sardinian race is expected in late May.
The tourism sector believes that this phenomenon will attract thousands of visitors to the province, which will bring much-needed help to the industry, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the July unrest and the recent devastating floods.
South Coast Tourism Director Hugo Felisa Mangku says: “Visitors have not been able to enjoy the world-famous spectacle for the past two years due to restrictions on the blockade.”
Manju says hotels along the coast are expecting an influx of visitors this year.
“We hope, pray and cross our fingers that they really come as a destination. We can create that excitement. The tourism industry has been operating slowly for almost two years. I mean, if it wasn’t COVID, then the July riots, and now the recent floods. Sardines they become for us a tool, Here from the people who come to the south coast to enjoy this spectacle. This is an advantage for the guest house, for our boarding houses.
Scientists say another season is expected in KwaZulu-Natal. Dr. Ryan Daly of the Institute of Oceanographic Research in Durban is developing.
“Yes, the sardine race is always hard to predict, but definitely 2020 with a really good year 2021 was another good year. And when those last few years pass, we hope to get another good run, but it remains unpredictable. And all we can do is wait and see what happens at the end of this month. ”
Dr Daly says that although the recent floods in KZN have caused a splash of water as well as debris in the Indian Ocean, the impact on the ocean has largely passed and therefore it should not affect the arrival of sardines.
“The sardine run starts all over the coast and at that point down the bay we had more drought and flooding. Thus, the flood was largely localized in the KZN. But we are already seeing the effects of the floods that need to dissipate. So I hope that by the end of the month everything will be clear and will return to good conditions for jogging on the sardines.
Meli also attracts fishermen who are profitable from commercial activities. Small fishermen ambiguous feel the arrival of sardines. These fishermen say the arrival of sardines brings bigger fish.
“With sardines comes a big fish, and it’s mostly our Christmas, so we’re looking forward to it.”
“The arrival of sardines is a good sign, so the fisherman knows that there will be more in all fishing activities, and the chance to catch good fish is better, but at the same time, because there are so many baits in the sea, fish will need more time. on our bait. They will eat sardines because they completely fill the net. We got a chance to catch up and they sell to retailers. We can make a living, that’s a very good sign. Once a year, fishermen look forward to sardines, ”another fisherman added.