Jubilation as minister signs 20 Marine Protected Areas into being in terms of section 22A of the NEMA Protected Areas Act. Hope for South Africa’s last wilderness is restored. This has been a hard fought battle by Dr Kerry Sink and her team, Tamsyn Livingstone, Prof Colin Attwood, Dr. Amanda Lombard, Dr. Jean Harris, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, SANParks, SANBI, DEA, Wildoceans, Y4MPAs and the many support organisations throughout the country.
Unless sustainably managed, the uses and users of marine ecosystems can threaten, change and destroy the very processes and ‘resources’ upon which they depend. MPAs create safe zones of ‘samples’ of biodiversity and associated ecosystems, sites for reproduction and growth of species, provide ‘spill-over addition’ into adjacent areas, points of education, serve as baseline sites for scientific study and the list goes on of all the benefits MPA’s offer us and oceans.
It is our role as South Africans to ensure that these zones remain protected as the ocean bio-web comes under more and more pressure from overfishing, oil and gas exploration, shipping noise and pollution.
Links to all declarations can be found here: