Browns Bank COMPLEX MPA

"gravel mosaic"

South of Struisbaai, Western Cape

 

StatUS: further research needed

 

At the very tip of the submerged African continent, 120 km offshore of Struis Baai lies an area of diverse habitats including untrawled rocky, gravel and sandy ecosystems where seabirds forage and fish spawn.

This proposed MPA spans the 100-200 m area in a 780 km2 area where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. This proposed area can meet multiple goals for many ecosystem and species in a small area. Fisheries that could be supported by protecting this area include the south coast rock lobster fishery, the line fishery and the hake trawl fishery where representative habitat types that are in good ecological condition could receive their first protection. A better understanding of gravel habitats, the animals that live in these deep rocky ecosystems and the way that they respond to ocean activities such as trawling is a research priority.

 

BENEFITS

  • supports eco-certification of the commercial hake fishery

  • protects threatened habitats in good condition