by Danica Hansen
DURBAN – This year’s sardine run has been a no-show so far with reports of quiet waters off Durban’s coast.
The annual sardine run occurs when the Southern African pilchard (Sardinops sagax) move along the east coast of South Africa, travelling northwards from their spawning ground’s cool waters in the Agulhas Bank. Millions of sardines coast along a cold water current that runs from Agulhas along the Mozambican coastline toward the Indian Ocean.
While sardines usually surface between May and July, this year the sardines are yet to appear. “We expected to have seen some fish by now,” said Natal Sharks Board Head of Operations, Mike Anderson-Reade. According to Anderson-Reade, sardines are normally expected within the first few weeks of June, although later arrivals in July have been noted in the last 20 years. “It’s very difficult to forecast and this will be the fifth bad year if it is bad,” said Anderson-Reade who explained that there is no perceived reason for the late sardines. Hopes for a better run next year are high.