Striking underwater colours have a remarkable effect on divers especially in the Cape where there is an onslaught of dark green, grey and brown. Whenever I see a Red Roman I get excited and immediately point it out to my dive buddies. Why? Well it’s red and white fish which makes it stand out in a kelp forest and amongst the other brown, grey and silver fish. If a little bit of red and white gets me excited, a yellow fish blows my mind! Enter the juvenile Cape Knifejaw.
Although mom and dad Cape Knifejaw blend in with the other darker fish, junior is a bright yellow, black and orange colour. As junior gets older he turns a silvery black colour. The Knifejaw gets its name from its beak-like teeth which it uses to rip sponges and seaweed. They can grow up to 90cm in length and can be found on inshore reefs -10m below.
The best place to look for these funky fish is the Pyramid Rock MPA near Millers Point. Spearos, please think twice about shooting Cape Knifejaws as they are on the SASSI Red List (SASSI).