Coast KZN

26 Sep 2018

Plan to increase SA’s marine protected areas to 5% of our oceans

Duncan Guy (Independent on Saturday) Picture: Ocean enthusiasts stand in a minute's silence for the late Minister of Environment, Edna Molweni, at a talk about proposed marine protected areas. Picture: Duncan Guy

Durban – A proposal is out to increase the marine protected areas off South Africa’s coastline from the present 24, covering 0.4 percent of the country’s ocean space to five percent.

 South African National Biodiversity Institute scientist and marine programme manager Kerry Sink said in Durban on Tuesday that protected areas “are the cornerstone of ocean sustainability”.

“They are special places in the ocean that we want to keep productive and healthy so that we can look after our fisheries and we can continue to enjoy the benefits that South Africa’s amazing ocean gives us,” she said.

She added that a huge body of work underlay the initiative, which was yet to reach Cabinet, and it included co-operation between the industrial sector and scientists.

Sink was speaking at the launch of a display by the SA Association for Marine Biological Researce on the proposed park at Ushaka Marine World.

Sink said the late Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, had supported the idea from the beginning.

The gathering honoured Molewa by standing for a minute in silence.