OPEN DAYS FOR CLARITY ON ADDO MARINE PROTECTED AREA

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Friday, 26th July 2019

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Two open days meant to provide clarity and information on the newly-proclaimed Addo Elephant National Park Marine Protected Area (MPA) will take place in Nelson Mandela Bay next week.  On Tuesday 30 July, stakeholders are invited to the session at the Sanddunes Hall in Cannonville (Colchester) with the next day’s open day taking place at the Regional SANParks office at 42 Sixth Avenue in Newton Park.  Both sessions will take place between 2pm and 7pm.

The open days are an opportunity for local residents, fishermen, fishing industry officials and any other stakeholders who have queries related to the MPA or want to receive a copy of the regulations as per the Government Gazette.  Rangers and management from Addo Elephant National Park will be on hand to provide clarity on the regulations pertaining to the MPA as set out by national government.

For directions to any of the venues, please contact Zelna Breytenbach via email: zelna.breytenbach@sanparks.org

BACKGROUND

Three new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) within South African National Parks (SANParks) were gazetted by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) on 23 May 2019.  The Addo Elephant National Park MPA, Robben Island MPA (to be managed by Table Mountain National Park) and Namaqua National Park MPA form part of 20 new national MPAs.  This declaration was the culmination of many years of work by South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), SANParks, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and DEA.  These MPAs come into effect on Thursday 1 August 2019.

This new network of MPAs increase the conservation footprint of South Africa’s oceans from 0.43 to five percent and is a major achievement for conservation. The new MPAs will contribute to the conservation of our oceans, islands and coastal habitats, protect threatened species such as penguins, and rebuild overexploited species such as linefish, abalone and rocklobster. They will help secure ecosystem services, support recreational, tourism and educational activities, as well as subsistence, recreational and commercial fishing. MPAs help keep ecosystems resilient in the face of climate change.

The planning towards some of these MPAs started as far back as in 2006, such as the Addo Elephant National Park MPA, by SANParks and the SANBI Offshore MPA project. Hundreds of planning and stakeholder meetings and negotiations with communities and industries, such as oil and gas, mining, fisheries, and aquaculture, took place. Planners and lawyers spent five years developing the shape, size and regulations for these MPAs with many compromises on all sides.

WHAT IS A MARINE PROTECTED AREA?

An MPA is an area of coastline or ocean this is specifically protected for the benefit of people and nature.

They help manage part of the marine environment to rebuild fisheries populations, keep marine ecosystems working properly and protect the range of species living there, helping people to benefit from the ocean.  MPAs are divided into controlled and restricted zones to allow for both protection and use of resources.

Learn more about MPAs in South Africa

Access the gazettes notices and regulations (Gazette no 42478 and 42479)

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO ADDO & VISIT THE NEW MPA

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