Aliwal Shoal OFFSHORE MPA

"Spawning Seabreams"

South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal

 

Aliwal shoal and associated 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 proposed expansion of the current MPA to 1200 km2 includes innovative zoning that protects key deep reefs and the historic spawning grounds of overexploited seabream (Seventy Four). This seabream was once the most popular fish on KwaZulu-Natal menus but has been closed to fishing since 1988 after overfishing of breeding fish during spawning aggregations in the 1960’s led to the collapse of the stock. The expanded Aliwal Shoal MPA extends between the Illovo to Mzimayi Rivers and will include the iconic Greenpoint, the popular shore fishing area of Mamba Alley (zoned to accommodate fishing) and the Clansthal and Hayes Rock areas. The existing MPA provides protection to the Crown Area, the main area of the Aliwal Shoal Reef popular with divers and the new area will help protect deep reef habitats and fish, catsharks and the mysteries species of the upper slope that scientists are just starting to explore (down to 2200 m).

 

BENEFITS

  • 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