A month of sardines sightings: 25 June to 25 July 2021

A month of sardines sightings: 25 June to 25 July 2021

A month of sardines sightings: well ok, what a crazy month it turned out to be. Had zero idea I’d become quasi-policeman during this challenging moment in time. When I first deployed this cool little tongue-in-cheek survey, I also never thought anyone would answer either. It was chaos out there! But it turned out a few people did. Providing a cool little analysis of where the hotspots were during this wild time in Africa.

25 June to 25 July survey results

The survey simply asked where anyone had seen any sardines and if so, near which beach.

East London00%0%
Coffee Bay00%0%
Port St. Johns18%7.7%
Port Edward00%0%
Port Shepstone215%15.4%
Richards Bay00%0%
Sodwana Bay00%0%
25 June to 25 July Sardines Sightings from our fun little online survey.

Gift of the Netters

During the chaos, Ubuntu prevailed on the beaches big time, as communities banded together to protect public and private property. The legends who threw their nets and donated their catches to the desperate know where they are going in the next life. Straight to fishing heaven for all of you!

Sardines sightings were a bit slow the month 25 June through 35 July 2021.
Gift of the Netters: Durban sardine crews were spotted giving away sardines for free to the needy.


Yip, the garrick are here. And so are the reports of jiggers, and poachers. This year DAFF have upped their game and are already on-site in Port St. Johns. Working with local stalwarts of conservation and eco-tourism, they now have an intelligence network in place. That will be the most effective weapon in combatting illegal fishing activities.

If you see anybody jigging, click right here for the DAFF peoples contact details.


Straight onto the next victim. The kob share the same honeymoon lagoons as the garrick do. And are also then highly concentrated and vulnerable. As they feed up and prepare for spawning. Something which I have witnessed and I sure hope I get to see again. Huge kob lolling and rolling over each other, right on the surface, in the middle of the estuary mouth at Port St. Johns.

Once again, so vulnerable at this time. They ought to be left alone to their respective romantic times so that we get catch fish in years to come. DAFF details are above. Jigging is illegal.


Many under-sized shad being caught and not released. This is back to the days of when lack of control decimated the shad population of South Africa. This is what Rudy van der Elst sent in to me yesterday…

Dear Sean,

Your recent issue of the Sardine highlights an important and disconcerting issue, namely the lack of government compliance management.

This is resulting in a rise of a lawless culture towards our fisheries resources.

It reminds me of the 70’s when the shad were plundered. It took strict regulations, backed by a Commission of Inquiry to rectify.

The economic and tourism-related implications are clear to see.

Let’s hope a conservation approach by the majority of anglers will win the day.

All the best


And with one letter, we have a plan! We need a Commission of Enquiry! And we need to reinstate Ezimvelo, urgently.

And for this, we need some lawyer firepower. Anyone interested to get involved in the plight of our desperately in need fish, please get in touch with Sean on Especially if you know how to get a Commission of Enquiry going!


And at the same time turn the Sharks Board into a conservation entity (technology has well out-paced those people – you can buy protection for R1300 in the form of an anti-shark bracelet these days – they could be available at every beach for bathers and surfers – for a fraction of the cost of a murderous gill net).

Throw a drone up in the air, and a sonar array in the water and Bob ain’t bobbing no more.

State of the Ocean Address

Well. It’s a bit like our country right now. Beaten up!

The east winds have come back to the west fronts with vengeance. At least it’s warming up though. And the water is clean overall. Just a few dirty patches from upswellings created by the strong east winds. And now the west wants back in!?

Dangerous ocean-going conditions with some deep holes to fall into. Just another day or two and we could be back to normal.

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