The “strepie” (which means “small stripe” in Afrikaans) is so-called because of the bright yellow stripes that run horizontally along this silver fish’s body.
Strepies (Sarpa salpa) are smallish, silvery fish with plump bodies, that can grow up to about 30cm in length.
They are also known locally as “karanteen” and are often used as bait by anglers.
They occur in both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, but prefer cooler water and rocky areas. According to A Guide to The Common Sea Fishes of Southern Africa by Rudy van der Elst (Struik, 1985), this is one of the most abundant herbivorous fish species in southern Africa, and is “undoubtedly an important link in the foodweb”.
This distinctive little fish occurs south from Mozambique, round Cape Point, all the way up the west coast of Africa, and throughout the Mediterranean.