I have heard about the sardine run and it’s phenomenal tourism potential from Rainer Schimpf of Expert Tours. Rainer showed me images of life under water when the sardines huddle together and swim frantically as a pack.
This week while waiting in Hermanus New Harbour to go whale watching I saw 2 fishing boats off loading their sardine catch and was just as mesmerised by the functionality of bring the catch home. The ice were lined up in huge bags to make sure these sardines were well chilled before being fried and served. Men were enthuesiastically scooping the fish from the bottom of the boat to crates and then stacking these in pantechicon trucks.
It is said that the sardines – or more scientifically, the Southern African pichard Sardinops sagax – spawn in the cool seas of the Agulhas Bank and move north. The sardine run happens when the temperature drops to below 21 degrees C due to a current of cold water flows north. For those walking along the shore it is easy to spot as the sardines are marked by the presence of many sea birds using the opportunity to feed.
I love sardines on the braai and learnt how to eat these from Portuguese friends. A glass of well chilled Sauvignon Blanc goes well with sardines! Bon Apetite.