cape town pufferfish seals

Photo: Radio 786 / Facebook

Warning for Cape Town beachgoers over ‘poisonous pufferfish’

Hitting the beach in Cape Town? Then you will want to avoid the scores of pufferfish that have been swept inland – due to a freak set of circumstances.

cape town pufferfish seals

Photo: Radio 786 / Facebook

Cape Town locals have been advised to ‘steer clear’ of pufferfish that have been washing up onshore in the past week. The poisonous creatures have been spotted on the beaches of Glencairn and Muizenberg – prompting leading voices in the marine community to issue an urgent warning for those heading to the coast.

Pufferfish warning for Cape Town – what’s going on?

It’s believed that ‘algae blooms’ – the rapid growth of microscopic organisms in the water – has played a role in this bizarre phenomenon. However, officials for the Two Oceans Aquarium are convinced that a shift in water temperature has also accounted for the number of dead pufferfish surfacing inland.

Muizenberg beach is dotted with dead pufferfish. Beachgoers have been urged to steer clear of the fish as they may be…

Posted by Radio 786 on Saturday, 20 March 2021

Locals told to avoid ‘poisonous pufferfish’

According to a recent Twitter post, the pufferfish were lured into coastal waters due to a rise in temperature – but a rapid decline in warmth has, quite literally, caught these animals cold:

“We are fairly sure those are evileye pufferfish [washing up on the shore]. It’s quite likely that the return of False Bay’s water to its usual cold temperatures after an extended warm spell is at play here – some warm-water loving species took advantage, but aren’t able to survive now.”

More animals washing up in Cape Town

Further concerns have been raised about seals also washing up onshore. This follows a strange set of circumstances reported in the Eastern Cape, which saw a plethora of exotic fish dragged in by the tides. However, Two Oceans Aquarium representatives believe there is nothing unusual about this particular incident:

“In regards to the seals, it’s the end of their weaning season now, so more seals are around the colonies now than at other times of year – probably natural, but wind direction is washing them [up on shore]. Remember to report carcasses to the City of Cape Town.”