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LOCAL TIME: 09:48 am | Sunday, 05 December
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Marine Life in Jeffreys Bay

Jeffreys Bay is home to a rich marine life. Sit by the ocean side and marvel at the schools of dolphins that play in the waves while making their way along the coast.  Chokka boats are a familiar evening sight in Jeffreys Bay.  The horizon over the bay lights up with the lights of these boats, catching calamari, which is a specialty seafood found in many of South Africa’s restaurants.


The bay area is protected, making it a safe place for Humpback whales and Southern Right whales, who mate and calve within meters of the surfers. Rarely, you may also spot an Orca whale, also known as Killer whales.

Southern rights visit about June to November, and migratory humpback whales can be seen  almost daily from May to July, and then, on their return trip, from about November to January.

Bryde’s whales or orcas are occasionally seen, and bottlenose and humpback dolphins are in residence all year.

Sharks – The Sardine Run of South Africa
Sardine Run

A Bronzed Whaler eating its fill. Photo: Jean Tresfon

The sardine run of South Africa occurs every year between May and July when billions of sardines (Southern African pilchardSardinops sagax) spawn in the cools waters of the Agulhas Bank, before moving northward along the east coast of South Africa.  The run, containing millions of individual sardines, occurs when a current of cold water heads north from the Agulhas Bank up towards Mozambique where it then leaves the coastline and goes further east into the Indian Ocean.  The sheer number of sardines clumped together in shoals often more than 7 km long, 1.5 km wide and 30 meters deep, create a feeding frenzy along South Africa’s coastlines.  The shoals are clearly visible from spotter planes or from the surface, and as a result you will often sight Great White sharks, Bull sharks and Ragged tooth sharks during this time.

Marine Plants and Animals

Jeffreys Bay is home to many different species of marine plants and animals. Anemones, urchins, oysters, crayfish and the highly prized perlemoen are all there. A host of fish species ranging from large game to small tropical can be spotted should you wish to dive and view our waters through a goggle and snorkel.  Why not give it a try?  You never know what treasures you may find on the sea floor, including sinkers and surfboard fins!

Fishermen would glee at the remarkable array of fish. Come and discover the marine playground of Jeffreys Bay.  You could even take a spear gun and hunt for your own dinner.  You may just be able to start your dinner with handpicked mussles, oysters and crayfish.

More on the town of Jeffreys Bay More on the area of the Sunshine Coast

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