South Africa’s vast shoreline extends for over 3000 km from Namibia on the Atlantic coast to subtropical Mozambique on the Indian Ocean. This results in an incredible diversity of habitats and ecosystems, from kelp forests and lagoons to mangrove swamps and reefs.
It is essential that we protect this biodiversity for generations to come.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) play a critical role. Marine Protected Areas are geographically defined areas protected by law. The IUCN defines a Marine Protected Area as “A clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated, and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values”
MPAs help to conserve our rich marine biodiversity – including unique, sensitive, threatened and endemic species – and to maintain essential ecosystem processes. They also help to manage marine areas for sustainable fishing, ensuring that people continue to benefit from the ocean.