The 20th Marine Protected Area (MPA) along the South African coastline was formally promulgated by Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism on 17 October 2008.
The Minister stated that the Stilbaai MPA was declared to assist in the protection of the environment and living resources, and will assist in rebuilding over-exploited fish stocks. Approximately 75% of the estuary will now have complete protection from fishing, and other activities in the Marine Protected Area will be controlled to reduce the risks of habitat degradation and to preserve the vis-vywers, which have archaeological and cultural value.
The proclamation of the Stilbaai MPA is the result of 10 years of motivation from non-governmental organisations and residents in the town of Stilbaai and collaboration between officials and scientists from Marine and Coastal Management (MCM) and CapeNature.
It is significant to note that the entire Goukou Estuary lies within the MPA. This is the first estuary that is included in a MPA in the Western Cape. The increased conservation status of the estuary will help provide urgent protection for the marine resources of the estuary and allow for more effective management.
CapeNature has hailed this promulgation as an indication of the success of collaboration between civil society, communities and government to care for natural resources.
For more information please contact CapeNature's public relations officer, Liesl Brink on 021 659 3446 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org