Anxious wait for first big shoal to hit the coastline

IT DOESN'T look like the sardines are going to make it to Durban this year, the Natal Sharks Board said yesterday.

"It's nearing the end of July and we are getting a bit worried," the board's chief executive, Mike Anderson-Reade, said.

The shoal, last spotted about 30km south of Durban, generally arrives on the city's coastline in June and July.

Last Wednesday, four baskets of sardines had been netted near Hibberdene but Anderson-Reade said that was not a good sign as it was "too little fish".

Since then there has been no sign of what is described as "the greatest shoal on Earth".

Anderson-Reade said pilots would fly out tomorrow to check where the sardines were.

KwaZulu-Natal residents and international tourists were still waiting for the first big shoal to hit the coastline.

It's been nearly three years since the anticipated sardine run had taken place on Durban's coastline. In the past 36 months, the fish had been netted along the coastline but no shoal had beached. - Sapa