Proposed new and expanded Marine Protected Area network for South Africa

As part of the Office of the President’s Operation Phakisa initiative, South Africa has committed to expanding its Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to 5% of our Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) by 2017.

The EEZ is our marine “property” which stretches around South Africa’s coastline and extends 200 nautical miles offshore. More than 90% of this area has already been allocated to prospecting for oil and gas.

MPA expansion will help to grow fish species along the South African coast


Currently, only 0.4% of our EEZ is made up of MPAs. Now 21 potential MPAs have been proposed.

So what do MPAs mean for marine conservation?

  • Core no-take areas in MPAs will act as a reservoir of larger reproductive fish, resulting in an increase in abundance of fish and subsequent dispersal to adjacent fished areas
  • They will help to ensure the survival of endemic species that only occur in South Africa
  • They will help to protect a portion of each of South Africa’s many types of marine habitats
  • They will protect threatened species like reef fish, whales, sharks, turtles and African penguins
  • MPAs will provide opportunities for tourism

The benefits of the MPAs are for all South Africans, and the biodiversity that they will protect is impossible to replace. 

Help us ensure that our children will enjoy the benefits of the oceans in the future, by joining us in supporting the government’s proposal to increase our marine protected areas to 5% of South Africa’s EEZ: 

The deadline to lend your support is 17 May 2016, so don't delay!

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