Aliwal Shoal MPA
South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal
Aliwal Shoal and its deep reefs support a thriving scuba diving industry, raggedtooth, tiger and blacktip sharks, the popular Produce wreck, beautiful corals growing on fossilized sand dunes, and a refuge for endangered seabreams.
The expansion of the coastal MPA to approximately 670 km2 includes innovative zoning that protects key deep reefs and the historical spawning grounds of overexploited seabream (Seventy Four). This seabream was once the most popular fish on KwaZulu-Natal menus but the fishery has been closed since 1988 after overfishing of breeding fish during spawning aggregations in the 1960s led to the collapse of the stock. The expanded Aliwal Shoal MPA was proclaimed in 2019 and extends between the Illovo to Mzimayi Rivers and includes the iconic Greenpoint, the popular shore fishing area of Mamba Alley (zoned to accommodate fishing) and the Clansthal and Hayes Rock areas. The MPA provides protection to the Crown Area - the main area of the Aliwal Shoal Reef popular with divers - and the extension protects deep reefs, endemic fish, catsharks and many mysterious species of the upper slope (to depths of 2200 m) that scientists are just starting to explore.
Sustains fisheries by protecting habitats of geelbek and dusky kob, and SEASONAL PROTECTION FOR spawning aggregations of threatened LINEFISH
Increases social benefits by attracting tourism development linked to beaches, scuba diving and education
Supports shark diving ecotourism by preserving habitats for sharks AND PROTECTING THESE ICONIC PREDATORS