Words: Tourism South Coast
Breaking news - as of 4th June 2015 – the sardines are officially running along the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast shores. The first major activities reported are on Margate Beach and Southport – the beginning of the Greatest Shoal on Earth.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Traditionally, the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast has always been home to one of the world’s greatest natural marine phenomena - the Sardine Run – also referred to as the Greatest Shoal on Earth. Between June and July, over 700 000 000 sardines have migrated up the coast, bringing with them an entourage of dolphins, sharks, game fish, and thousands of circling seabirds, all of which join in the feeding frenzy. Along the way, these silvery fish have periodically driven into shallow waters, and resultantly beaching themselves along the shoreline, to the huge delight of locals and visitors who travel from far and near to scoop up the sea’s bountiful offering.
However the past few years, for largely unknown reasons – temperature, illegal trawlers and other hypothesis, the sardines have not run – a sardine `drought’ has occurred.
So naturally the question this year has once again been `Will the sardines run this year?’ And yes, in breaking news – they are. They have begun.
Says CEO Justin Mackrory `We are very excited about nature’s turn of events. As the fishermen are already throwing their nets wide, so we at Ugu South Coast Tourism are throwing our arms wide, ready to welcome the massive influx of visitors from all over the province and South Africa. This is undeniably one of the greatest global natural miracles of all – and we encourage everyone to make a plan and get down to the South Coast. And to top it all, there are loads of fun-filled family-vibe festivals and events during June and July, so make this a winter to remember. The South Coast awaits you – welcome to paradise. Welcome to the greatest shoal on earth’.
Keep an eye on https://www.facebook.com/southcoasttourism?fref=ts and www.tourismsouthcoast.co.za and call the Sardine hotline on 083 913 9495 for further updates.