Sardines in Waterfall bluff
The first flight for 2012 to check on the position and movement of sardine shoals has been carried out by the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board.
“The sardine shoals were not clearly visible. However the presence of many hundreds of predators is indicative of sardines,” the board’s head of operations Mike Anderson-Reade said on Thursday.
The survey flight was done on Wednesday from Durban to East London.
Anderson-Reade said he was surprised to see activity in Waterfall Bluff, in the Eastern Cape, this early.
“We don’t generally see it this early... so it will be difficult to determine when it will be in Durban.”
From the air, the board saw hundreds of gannets diving into the water as well as common and bottlenose dolphins “going mad in the water”.
“This activity was scattered from close inshore... to approximately five kilometres out to sea,” he said.
“The sighting is very unusual for the month of May and it is possible that a number of small shoals of sardines have moved very quickly northwards up into this area.”
Anderson-Reade said Waterfall Bluff and the surrounding area was well known as a staging area for sardine shoals, as seen in previous years.
The next observation flight was scheduled for next week.
The annual sardine run generally takes place in June.