Karanteen, also known as strepie in the Cape because of the beautiful golden lines running the length of their bodies, are a common shoaling fish species found around most of the South African coast. They are herbivores and large shoals can often be seen grazing algae in shallow water close to rocky shores.
Karanteen are partial protandrous hermaphrodites. This means that some fish which mature as males can later change sex to female. They reach maturity in their second year of life and only live for a maximum of about 6 years. Juvenile karanteen use intertidal rock pools and estuary mouths in the Eastern and Western Cape as nursery areas. Mature fish migrate up to the KZN coast in winter each year to spawn.
Their eggs and larvae are carried southwards inshore of the Agulhas Current. Karanteen are the second most important fish species, by number (after shad/elf), caught by shore anglers along the Eastern Cape and KZN coast. They are eaten by a range of predators such as shad, garrick and kob and as a consequence are often used for bait. The bag limit is 10 per person per day and the minimum size limit is 15cm total length.