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Marine Protected Areas

Environmental Goal

To have at least 20% of South Africa's coastline declared as protected areas.

Indicator

 
Proportion of coastline within marine bioregions
Proportions of the South African coastline within marine bioregions included within various categories of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
 
Note:
Category 1 = ‘no-take’ Marine Protected Areas
Category 2 = some extraction is permitted
Category 3 = protection of a single species only
Category 4 = proposed Marine Protected Areas
 
Sources: 
Adapted from Lombard, A.T., Strauss, T., Harris, J., Sink, K., Attwood, C., and Hutchings, L. (2004).  South African National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment 2004 Technical Report.  Volume 4: Marine Component.  South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. 
 
Branch, G.M. and Clark, B.M. (2006).  Fish stocks and their management: the changing face of fisheries in South Africa.   Marine Policy 30(1), 3–17.
 
Proportions of the South African coastline within marine bioregions included within various categories of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
 
  Namaqua SW Cape  Agulhas 
  1997 2004 1997 2004 1997 2004

Category 1

0.0 0.0 6.0 12.1 9.6 11.5

Category 2

0.0 0.0 6.0 38.8 2.6 4.6

Category 3

3.7 0.0 16.7 0.0 3.0 3.0

Category 4

0.0 8.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Not in MPAs

96.3 92.0 71.4 49.3 84.7 80.8

Total length

100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
 
  Natal  Delagoa Total 
  1997 2004 1997 2004 1997 2004

Category 1

3.1 6.2 28.1 28.1 6.9 9.1

Category 2

1.7 14.4 71.9 71.9 5.2 12.3

Category 3

0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.0 1.4

Category 4

0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.5

Not in MPAs

95.2 79.4 0.0 0.0 83.8 75.6

Total length

100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Note:
Category 1 = ‘no-take’ Marine Protected Areas
Category 2 = some extraction is permitted
Category 3 = protection of a single species only
Category 4 = proposed Marine Protected Areas
 
Sources: 
Adapted from Lombard, A.T., Strauss, T., Harris, J., Sink, K., Attwood, C., and Hutchings, L. (2004).  South African National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment 2004 Technical Report.  Volume 4: Marine Component.  South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. 
 
Branch, G.M. and Clark, B.M. (2006).  Fish stocks and their management: the changing face of fisheries in South Africa.   Marine Policy 30(1), 3–17.


Marine Protected Map Threat small
Threat status of biozones in South African Waters

Source: Driver, A., Sink, K.J., Nel, J.L., Holness, S., Van Niekerk, L., Daniels, F., Jonas, Z., Majiedt, P.A., Harris, L. & Maze, K. 2012. National Biodiversity Assessment 2011: An assessment of South Africa’s biodiversity and ecosystems. Synthesis Report. South African National Biodiversity Institute and Department of Environmental Affairs, Pretoria.


Marine Protected Map Protection small
Protection status of biozones in South African Waters

Source: Driver, A., Sink, K.J., Nel, J.L., Holness, S., Van Niekerk, L., Daniels, F., Jonas, Z., Majiedt, P.A., Harris, L. & Maze, K. 2012. National Biodiversity Assessment 2011: An assessment of South Africa’s biodiversity and ecosystems. Synthesis Report. South African National Biodiversity Institute and Department of Environmental Affairs, Pretoria.

 

 

Are we making progress?

 

Currently, 23.2% of South Africa’s coastline falls within marine protected areas or land-based protected areas with only 9% of the coastline in no-take marine protected areas or zones. Offshore, less than 1% of the mainland EEZ is protected. In 2011, the national biodiversity assessment assessed ecosystem threat status for 136 marine and coastal habitat types whereas the National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment 2004 assessed threat status for 34 broad marine biozones. The 136 marine and coastal habitat types consist of 58 coastal and inshore habitat types (including three island associated habitat types), 62 offshore benthic habitat types and 16 offshore pelagic habitats

Out of South Africa’s 136 marine and coastal habitat types, 47% are threatened, 17% are critically endangered, 7% endangered, and 23% vulnerable (Figure 10). Many of these threatened habitat types are relatively small, leaving more than 70% of the overall area of South Africa’s mainland marine territory least threatened.



Nearly 70% of offshore habitat types are not protected at all.  Offshore ecosystems are the least protected of all South Africa’s ecosystems. Although 23% of South Africa’s coastline falls within land-based or marine protected areas, a small proportion of coastal and inshore ecosystems are well protected.

 

For more information please visit our indicator database at http://enviroindicator.environment.gov.za
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This page was last updated 31/07/2017