State of marine protected area management effectiveness in South Africa

Marine protected areas (MPAs) play a vital role in conserving vulnerable and important ocean species, habitats and ecosystems. Ensuring effective management of these protected coastal areas is just as crucial. This detailed publication presents the results of the most recent 2018/19 assessment that was conducted with managers and staff of 22 MPAs and three island nature reserves. It provides an overview of South Africa’s diverse MPAs, then dives into the results showing how each MPA is performing. The colours of a traffic light (green, orange and red) are used to highlight the focus areas where each MPA management agency is required to take urgent action in a consultative phased approach to improving their management effectiveness. These areas range from management plans, staff knowledge about cultural heritage and biodiversity and working with researchers to human resource capacity and health and safety, to restoration of degraded coastal stretches, among others.