Maasbanker (horse mackerel)
Maasbanker occur in large shoals and are trawled from the ocean depths during the day. At night they come to the surface to feed on plankton, which they strain from the water using their gill rakers.
They are an important food source for humans as well as dolphins, tuna, yellowtail and various seabirds.
SASSI status: Green
White stumpnose are an endemic southern African coastal species found in large shoals.
Juveniles use estuaries as nursery areas. Minimum legal catch size is 20 cm.
Ichthyologist Margaret Smith said that, when adult dageraad die, they are ‘the most beautiful of all creatures, as waves of different colours pass over the body’. ‘Dageraad’ is Dutch for ‘dawn’.
SASSI status: Red - Don’t buy or sell dageraad! Rather choose a green-listed species.
Large adults have been spotted in the deep canyons off Sodwana Bay where coelacanths were found. Slow-growing fish and can live up to 24 years.
SASSI status: Red - Don´t buy or sell yellowbelly rockcod! Rather choose a green-listed species.
Red steenbras (copper steenbras)
Many fishermen have stories to tell about this species. Red steenbras is one of the most popular species amongst anglers because it can be caught on just about any bait and puts up a good fight. A few decades ago these fish were plentiful, but due to their popularity, they have declined in numbers.
Although red steenbras is excellent to eat, its liver contains a toxic level of Vitamin A.
SASSI: Red—Don’t buy or sell red steenbras! Rather choose a green-listed species.
Bob the turtle's rollercoaster rehabilitation
On 6 November 2014, an injured young green turtle was found on a beach in the De Hoop Nature Reserve, about four hours drive from Cape Town, and the race was on to save its life.
Spotted grunterSpotted grunter are wide-spread from Cape Point, along the eastern coast of Africa as well as Madagascar. They feed on sand prawns, worms and crustaceans, which they uncover by squirting a jet of water from their mouths, to clear the mud.
Sixstripe soapfishSoapfish have glands in their skin which produce toxic secretions against potential predators. The toxins are known as grammistins. The secretions look like lathered soap, hence the name ‘soapfish’.
White musselcrackerWhite musselcracker have thick lips, powerful jaws and large teeth which enable it to eat black mussels, urchins, whelks, crayfish and small fish. Juveniles, which have bright orange fins, and are common in tidal pools.
Cape stumpnoseCape stumpnose are commonly found in shallow coastal waters and estuaries as well as deep reefs off the Kwa-Zulu Natal coast.
Zebra FishZebras use their fleshy lips to grasp food and then move it into position for the cutting incisor teeth.
Giant guitarfishGiant guitarfish were previously thought to be wide-spread, but research has shown that this is probably the combined distribution of four related species. Giant guitarfish are now thought to occur only in the Red Sea and western Indian Ocean as far south as South Africa’s east coast.