Your voice is needed to protect Bay marine life

2016-03-17 06:00
=The largest pods of bottlenose dolphins in the world are found right here in Algoa Bay. Port Elizabeth might soon become the Bottlenose Dolphin capital of the world.  PHoto: SUPPLIED

=The largest pods of bottlenose dolphins in the world are found right here in Algoa Bay. Port Elizabeth might soon become the Bottlenose Dolphin capital of the world. PHoto: SUPPLIED

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The new Addo Marine Protected Area (MPA) has been proposed by the Minister of Environmental Affairs together with another 21 MPAs in South Africa.

“Marine Protected Areas are crucial for healthy marine ecosystems. They are beneficial for the recovery of exploited fish stocks, ensuring the sustainable exploitation of our marine resources, hence jobs and food security.

“They also offer safe havens for many species and top predators’ populations,” said Dr Lorien Pichegru of the Coastal and Marine Research Institute, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth.

According to her Algoa Bay is home to more than half of the world’s African penguin population. Their population crashed by 70% in the last 10 years, and they need this MPA.

“Algoa Bay also hosts beautiful reefs, the largest pods of bottlenose dolphins in the world and hundreds of whales coming to give birth here every year.”

  • A public participation meeting, open to all, is planned today at 10:00 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Reception Room at the City Hall (Port Elizabeth) to discuss the draft regulations for the MPA.

The public can show their support for this MPA by completing a template letter and sending it to MPARegs@environment.gov.za before the end of April. Visithttps://www.facebook.com/algoabayhopespotz or http://www.gov.za/documents/national-environmental-management-protected-areas-act-regulations-management-addo-elephant to download the template letter.

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