LOWRANCE SOUTH AFRICA Lowrance Issue 18 - Page 17

And this is where it can get messy. Bystanders will rush right into the middle of the nets to fight for their share – get- ting tangled up in the process and land- ing fully dressed in the surf. Steph said, “I’ve never seen so many people go so moggy in all my life. People got caught up in the net and were dragged into the water - not to mention that you could see sharks everywhere! A photographer was carrying all his equip- ment when he got swept up by the crowd and landed in the water with all his expensive gear. A lady was standing in the middle of the net trying to catch single fish when she tripped and landed right in the breakers and she couldn’t get up and no-one was offering to help her. 30-50 Young chaps were straining to manouever a big net full of fish but the back- wash kept pulling it back into deeper water. It seemed to take hours but eventually it came in inch-by-inch but not without much shouting and shoving to get rid of the human “catch” in the mix. There was so much going on I didn’t know where to look next. Spectators were so busy watching the action that they’d forget to watch the water and they’d get taken out by the waves. It was madness….but it was fantastic!” While “KwaZulu Natalians” love the spec- tacle and appreciate the tourist attrac- tion it has become, Sardines are also big business! In the large Sardine (pilchard) fishery along the Western Cape coast, about 200 000 tonnes are caught annu- ally which are either canned or ground into fishmeal. This fishery employs thou- sands of people in the Western Cape and is the economic backbone of many coastal communities in the area. SLIDESHOW