Rocky reefs

A rocky reef provides shelter for fish such as this emperor snapper

The blanket of water off our coast covers a rich and varied range of ecosystems including rocky reefs which are found between the shoreline and the edge of the continental shelf.

These natural sculptures provide wonderful shelter for a myriad fish species and invertebrates, as well as sites of attachment for algae.

Along the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, reefs such as the Aliwal Shoal, off Umkomaas, have been declared by law as Marine Protected Areas, not only to conserve their natural beauty and rich biodiversity, but to protect the breeding grounds of many fish species. Such reefs make popular dive sites.