Coast KZN

03 Feb 2019

Life below the surface of our terrific Dolphin Coast tidal pools

Amy Jenkins ( North Coast Courier) Picture: Like something from the wild - a Greasy Rockcod found at Chakas Rock.

The Dolphin Coast is famous for its tidal pools.

Crystal clear and teeming with life, the many pools along the Coast from Zinkwazi to Umdloti are a must-see for tourists, and a luxury right on our doorstep for local residents.

But have you ever wondered what little creatures call our tidal pools ‘home’?

While some tidal pools may come across as rather empty and quiet, beachgoers will be pleasantly surprised to know that there are dozens of different species of sea creatures swimming around – from Bluespine Unicornfish in Salt Rock to Polyclad Flatworms in Sheffield.

The beautiful Bluespine Unicornfish. Photo: Tidal Tao

According to surfer girl extraordinaire and critter spotter of note, Michelle Morris from Tidal Tao, some of the most common finds are parrotfish, sergeant majors, convict surgeons, sea hares, blue eyed hermit crabs and hard corals.

“In terms of rare finds, we have found certain species of nudibranchs unknown to science, white spotted octopus, elegant pipefish and decorator crab.”

But while beachgoers are encouraged to snorkel around our beautiful tidal pools, it is also advised to keep a close eye out on the dangers that lurk below the surface.

Beautiful Thompson’s Bay.

“Tidal pools are also home to some sea creatures that are less inviting. Sea urchins, barnacles, mussels and corals can be very sharp,”said Michelle.

“Also beware the lion fish, stonefish, scorpion fish, cone shells and blue bottles.”

To find out more about our tidal pools and exactly where they are located, visit our website tidal pools.

Polyclad Flatworms found in Sheffield.