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“The protection of the estuary and reefs are important for the recovery of valuable fisheries resources such as abalone and kob.
“It also protects important feeding areas for the 9 000 pairs of endangered African penguins breeding at St Croix Island and the 60 000 pairs of endangered Cape gannets breeding at Bird Island,” said Ludick.
The MPA will facilitate nature-based tourism and serve as an outdoor classroom for educational activities. This new network of MPAs increases the conservation footprint of South Africa’s oceans from 0.43 to five percent and is a major achievement for conservation.
“Planners and lawyers spent five years developing the shape, size and regulations for these MPAs with many compromises on all sides,” said Ludick.