National fish

 Galjoen - Coracinus capensis

The galjoen is found only along the South African coast. It keeps to mostly shallow water, is often found in rough surf and sometimes right next to the shore and is known to every angler. Near rocks, the colour of the galjoen is almost completely black, while in sandy areas the colour is silver-bronze. It is also known in KwaZulu-Natal as blackfish or black bream. The record size is over 55 cm and 7 kg, however the average is much smaller. The galjoen is a game fighter.

The diet of the galjoen consists mainly of red bait (ascidians), small mussels and barnacles. The scales are very firmly attached. The fins are well-developed with prominent spines.


Galjoen. 1972. Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, vol 5, p107.
Van der Elst, R, A Guide to The Common Sea Fishes of Southern Africa. 1981. Cape Town: C Struik Publishers.

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