Seine netters at Ramsgate on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast got more than they bargained for when a shark was netted along with a big shoal of sardines on Sunday.
A dramatic video posted on Facebook showed the shark struggling in the net, while stunned people on the beach looked on.
The shark was eventually cut free after a few minutes by brave netters and wriggled back into the surf but was lashed by a wave onto its back.
Hysterical screams could be heard from the small group of onlookers but the shark – helped along by the netters – managed to swim away as the crowd cheered.
KZN Sharks Board’s operations manager Greg Thompson said from the footage it appeared to be a dusky shark, a species usually found in warmer waters.
“I have seen the video. It is difficult to tell, but it looks like a dusky shark to me. They are normally associated with the sardine run. He was force-feeding sardines out of their nets so he swam off with a full belly.”
Thompson said there has been a lot of activity along the Eastern Cape coast.
“In the Kei area, there has been big concentration of activity. This bit of fish came through at Port Edward yesterday, straight after the cold front. This often happens, as you get bits and pieces breaking out from the main shoal.
“A lot of the time people call these first fish pilot shoals. You just never know with these sardines. Tomorrow they might be gone or we might have a bumper season.
“That’s why we don’t make any predictions, it’s all what we see and what we hear.”
Thompson said the seine netters had netted about six or seven times at Ramsgate and Marina Beach.
“The seine netters have permits. They are allowed a number of guys in their teams,” he added.