Giant Sandshark

The GIANT SANDSHARK is part of the RAY family ...

The Giant Sandshark is part of the family of Rays. This Sandshark is known for its elongated body with a flattened head and trunk, with small ray like 'wings'. Their shape is due to the fact that they are bottom dwelling fish usually living on the sand.


All the species inhabit tropical, subtropical and temperate waters. In South Africa the two common species are the Lesser Sandshark (Rhinobatos annulatus) and the Giant Sandshark (Rhynchobatus djiddensis).

Lesser Sandshark (Rhinobatos annulatus)

They are distributed from Southern Angola, through Namibia to KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. This is the most abundant Sandshark in the sub-equatorial African region and is found in inshore waters from the shoreline to up to about 100m deep, including estuaries, the surf zone and enclosed bays. Maximum size recorded is 140 cm total with a maximum lifespan of seven years and an annual fecundity for 3 to 9 young. Shallow sandy habitats are important nursery areas. Although it is caught by recreational beach anglers, gillnets, beach seines and in benthic trawls it is abundant and is not subjected to significant fishing mortality. As such, it is assessed as Least Concern.

guitar-mapGiant Sandshark (Rhynchobatus djiddensis)

A large Western Indian Ocean inshore Sandshark, found from South Africa to the Red Sea. The Sandshark has a large elongated flatfish shape with a shovel-shaped nose. The nose is very distinguishable to the species because it is more elongated. Its colour is brownish-green through light-brown to dark brown. Numerous white to light brown spots are found along the top of the body and the under belly is a light cream colour.

The distribution range of the Giant Sandshark extends from South Africa along the east African coast. In South Africa this fish is found from south of Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape into northern KwaZulu Natal.

In the warmer months the Giant Sandshark are often seen on Sand Shark Gully on the Southern Pinnacles of PROTEA BANKS. The numbers of Giant Sandsharks can reach up to 50 at a time on this sandy patch.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SPECIFIC SHARK SPECIES CAN NEVER BE GUARANTEED ON A PARTICULAR DIVE, which is actually what makes PROTEA BANKS so unique. Each and every day is just so different!

Giant Sandshark Season


Graph gives a rough % estimation of the possibility of GIANT SANDSHARK sightings on PROTEA BANKS. Based on data collected from the AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER LOGBOOK, over the past 5 years. 

Giant Sandshark Gallery

Giant Sandshark Video


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