The sardines are prepping for their annual suicide run up the east coast of Southern Africa right now.
And so will be illegal fishers. Preparing to gorge them with their huge purse seine nets and get them into a supermarket near you.
That the overall population is dwindling as rapidly as every other fishery we on earth have depleted since mechanisation, is but one reason the sardines don’t get right into Natal waters anymore.
There is another reason. Foreign and local fishing pressure. The poor sardines barely make it to Port Edward these days, as illicit, and sometimes even legal – fishing operations, suck them all up.
I have been getting offers of US$70 per tonne in my inbox?! And the season hasn’t even started yet?! By months!
Reports filter through perpetually, concerning trawlers and the like, being spotted off the Transkei Coast.
I sure expect the powers that be recognise the tourism value per sardine, and keep at chasing those trawlers right out of our waters…
What to do?
https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:27/centery:-35/zoom:6 (this shows the legal ships off our coastline. So if you see a ship, you can verify it’s being and purpose. If it ain’t on the AIS maps, then it is definitely illegal, and the incident needs to be reported immediately).
Report these type of incidents to as many places as you can.
- local authorities (Department of Fisheries (DAFF))
- newspapers and other media (The Sardine News for one!)
STOP PRESS: I have been advised by an official at DAFF, that there is nowhere to report suspicious shipping activity?!