WE NEED MORE SARDINES
By: Veantha Naidoo
According to the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board website, sardines are known to be fish associated with cold water and prefer swimming along shallow coastal areas. These fish are
commonly found in Australia, Japan, South America, California and Southern Africa.
Sardines are tiny, silver fish that swim in warm water during the cold season.
In the past few years, these sardines have been in deeper waters. In the last couple of weeks these slippery
fish have been netted by eager fishermen that queued along the coastline to welcome “these visitors” onto our shores.
Danny Govender a local fisherman said, “These little fish have been absent from the Durban shores for the past five years. Even though we get these fish free from the sea, it is actually
like a delicacy in our homes, because we get to taste them only once a year.”
Another fisherman, Indren Pillay stated, “I eagerly wait for the annual sardine run, because I make extra cash when I sell the fish to the local public.
This year the demand for sardines were so great that I sold crates of the fish, directly to the fish shop even before I loaded them on my truck.
This year a lot of fisherman were anxious due to the lack of sardines in the past couple of years, but thanks to the cold weather that Durban has been experiencing.
We can only hope for more shoals of this fish.”
Other fishing enthusiasts described the activity at the beaches as one that was exciting yet tense.
Mark Andrews said, “When the boats go out nets are dropped into the water, in the hope of attracting shoals of the fish. We also need to be mindful of sharks that prey on these fish
that’s why it is so tense.”
Melanie Reddy, who owns a fish stall at the Victoria Street Market situated in Durban, said that people buy lot of these fish.
“Sardines are a very popular choice of fish amongst people of all walks of life and ages. It is a shame that this fish is not available to the public all year round. When it is available, people
are ready to spend almost R50, for a dozen. Which is good for us as sellers.
During this season we try with my husband to go to the beach and buy the sardines quickly, before our
competitors beat us to it.”