Featured

Adorable Southern Right whale calves

Since the beginning of September, the number of southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) cow-calf pairs in the bay has increased significantly compared to the last two months of our annual whale season. We have counted a total of about six cow-calf pairs in Plettenberg Bay, two of which are easily identifiable as a result of READ MORE

Sensory system of fish

Accurate, up-to-date information about the surrounding environment is very important in order to make optimal decisions about possible threats, prey, as well as mates. For humans our five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch) tell us this information. Fish use the same set of senses, but differently as they are, of course, wholly submerged READ MORE

Cape Clawless Otter

It is not every day that one gets to glimpse the elusive Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) as it goes about its daily life within many of South Africa’s freshwater systems. These otters belong to the Mustelid family, which includes carnivores such as weasels and badgers. The Cape clawless otter, also known as the African READ MORE

Cooperative feeding in cetaceans

Cooperative feeding comes about when two or more individuals effectively capture more and/or bigger prey items and suffer fewer costs together than alone. A number of mammal species, and even one bird species has been reported to undertake cooperative hunting, which could range from simultaneous chases, or clearly coordinated attacks. Coordinated attacks involve the division READ MORE

Vagrant seals in Plettenberg Bay

Although the Cape Fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) is southern Africa’s only endemic pinniped species, we do get a number of vagrant pinniped species that visit our shores. In Plettenberg Bay, we see both Subantarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus tropicalis) and southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) on occasion. These species are vagrants from Antarctic and Subantarctic READ MORE

Amazing African black oystercatcher

The African black oystercatcher Haematopus moquini is one of our resident breeding coastal bird species. It can often be seen on Lookout Beach and other coastal areas in Plettenberg Bay, but ranges from Luderitz in Namibia to Mazeppa Bay in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. They have a very distinctive appearance with all black feathers, READ MORE

Demersal Shark Longlining

Over the last month or so, some of Plettenberg Bay’s inhabitants may have noticed the occasional presence of a somewhat strange looking vessel within and around the bay. This vessel, it turns out, belongs to South Africa’s demersal shark longlining fishery. This fishery is relatively small, with only six permit-holders off the South African coastline, READ MORE

Endemic red romans

The red roman Chrysoblephus laticeps is a species of seabream endemic to southern Africa and found from Namibia to Port St. Johns in the Eastern Cape. The red roman is a striking orange to red fish with a robust build, it has a defined white bar on the gill cover and a white saddle. It READ MORE

Cetacean sleep

Cetaceans, or whales and dolphins, have a pretty unique way of getting some shuteye. These marine mammals actually only rest one half of their brain at a time when sleeping, in what is known as unihemispheric slow-wave sleep. While one hemisphere of the brain rests, the other remains alert. The hemispheres are alternated between sleep READ MORE