Nudi’s on the Shoal!

Nudibranchs are a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusks known for their often striking and vibrant colors.

They are often referred to as sea slugs and are found in oceans worldwide, including tropical and temperate waters. Nudibranchs are known for their diverse and fascinating forms, and many species are highly specialized and adapted to specific habitats.

Aliwal Shoal, located off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, is known for its rich marine biodiversity, including a variety of marine life such as sharks, rays, and numerous fish species. A large variety and the presence of nudibranchs on almost every dive, making this reef so diverse and unique!




Special Thanks to the Team at The SharkWise Project for these Images!

Nudibranchs, Guinea fowl moray eels, Pelagic gamefish, Rays, Sharks, Ragged tooth sharks, Dolphins, Whales, Tiger sharks, Bull Sharks all call the Aliwal HOME…

As such, Diver etiquette is an essential aspect of responsible and respectful diving in our Marine Protected Area. When it comes to diving near nudibranchs or other marine life, it’s crucial to follow ethical guidelines to minimize your impact on the underwater environment. Here are some general tips for diver etiquette on the reef:

1. Maintain Buoyancy Control:
Practice good buoyancy control to avoid accidentally touching or damaging the marine life, including small nudibranchs. Proper buoyancy helps you navigate without disturbing the environment.

2. Avoid Touching Marine Life:
Resist the temptation to touch or handle nudibranchs or any other marine organisms. Many marine creatures, including nudibranchs, have delicate structures that can be easily damaged.

3. Keep a Safe Distance:
Maintain a safe and respectful distance from the nudibranchs. Use your fins carefully to avoid stirring up sediment, which can settle on the animals and harm them.

4. Use a Pointer Stick:
Consider using a pointer stick to guide your fellow divers’ attention to interesting marine life, including small nudibranchs, instead of pointing with your fingers. This minimizes the risk of accidental contact.

5. Stay Informed:
Educate yourself about the marine life in the area where you are diving, including the behavior and habits of nudibranchs. Knowing more about the creatures you encounter helps you make informed decisions about how to interact with them responsibly.

6. Follow Local Guidelines:
Be aware of and adhere to local diving regulations and guidelines. Some dive sites may have specific rules regarding interaction with marine life, and it’s crucial to respect and follow these guidelines.

7. Practice Responsible Photography:
If you’re taking photos, be mindful of your equipment and the marine life around you. Avoid using flash photography, as it can disturb the animals, and be cautious not to damage any part of the reef or environment.

8. Report Irresponsible Behavior:
If you observe other divers engaging in harmful behavior, report it to the dive shop, boat crew, or relevant authorities. Encourage a culture of responsible diving within the diving community.

Remember, the primary goal is to enjoy the beauty of the underwater world while minimizing your impact on the delicate marine ecosystems. By practicing responsible diver etiquette, you contribute to the preservation of these environments for future generations!

Very little is know about the Nudis here, so share your photos and stories with us or for more info, check out the book ‘Nudibranchs & Sea Slugs of The Aliwal Shoal’ by Sellick/Gosliner/Van Heerden provides information about the nudibranchs and sea slugs found at Aliwal Shoal.

Or you can get in touch & join the Sharkwise project for more!