The Musselcracker, also known as White Steenbras or its ⁣biological name, Sparodon Durbanensis, is a species of fish belonging to the Sparidae family.

Conservation Status

The Musselcracker is currently listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.‌ Ongoing conservation efforts include marine preserves and efforts⁣ to enforce catch limits on commercial⁢ and recreational⁣ fishermen.


Here are some key ⁤stats about the Musselcracker:

Feature Average Range
Length 80 cm 60-100 cm
Weight 8 kg 4-15 kg
Average Lifespan 15 years 10-25 years


Native to the waters of Southern Africa, ⁣particularly ​South Africa and Mozambique. There’s⁢ no specific migration patterns as they ‍remain territorial.


Musselcracker tends to live in temperate ‌waters, preferring rocky seabeds ​and⁤ reefs. They ⁤are generally ‍found at‌ depths up to 50 meters and can tolerate⁣ a wide range of temperatures.

When and Where to⁢ See

These fishes can be seen all year round,‍ however,‌ they are most active around dawn and dusk.

Best Fishing Locations

Musselcracker is particularly ​associated with the warm waters⁢ of the South African coastline:

  1. Boulders Beach, South ‌Africa
  2. Knysna, South Africa
  3. Robben Island,⁢ South Africa
  4. Sodwana Bay, South Africa
  5. Mossel Bay, South Africa
  6. Hermanus, South Africa
  7. Plettenberg Bay, ‍South Africa

How to Catch

For the best results,‌ use crab or‌ shellfish as bait ⁤when fishing for Musselcracker. Bottom⁣ fishing is the most successful technique. Early morning or late afternoon tends to be the best times⁢ for fishing.

Identification ⁤Guide

These fish are predominantly silver-blue ‍with a broad, robust body. They have a⁣ round, wide mouth ‍which is equipped to crack open shellfish, hence the name “Musselcracker”.


Musselcracker is a ‍tender fish with‍ a ⁤mild flavor, making it ideal for cooking. Popular dishes include baked ⁢Musselcracker with lemon ‍butter sauce or grilled Musselcracker steaks.

Additional Information

These solitary fishes ​are very territorial. They are primarily bottom feeders, feasting on a diet of crustaceans, mollusks, and occasionally small fish. Natural predators include larger fish and seabirds.

References⁤ and ‌Further Reading

  1. FishBase
  2. Arkive