"wild coast jewel"
Wild Coast, Eastern Cape
Situated in the heart of the Wild Coast, this small MPA safeguards an estuary and secret rocky and sandy shores.
This 40.9 km2 MPA stretches approximately 3.7km from the northern point of the Hluleka Nature Reserve south of the Mnenu River to the southern boundary of the reserve north of the Mtakatyi River. It extends 10.8km out to sea making it a very narrow MPA. The little Hluleka River flows through and out of the forest into an open area with beautiful coral, quinine and fig trees. The MPA protects a wide diversity of marine habitats found along the Wild Coast including rocky shores and sandy beaches, an estuary and adjacent indigenous forests with many birds in the diverse coastal forest. On the shore the unusual bubble shaped rock formations were formed by rapidly cooling volcanic lava millions of year ago, while the rich marine life on these rocky shores provide hours of fascination for visitors. The intertidal rock pools and shallow subtidal reefs harbour fish such as blacktail, zebra, white musselcracker and bronze bream, and invertebrates such as the East Coast rock lobster. A perfect holiday destination for families, the diversity of plant and animal life both above and below water encourage young explorers to connect with nature in a safe environment. Proclaimed in 1991, this MPA is managed by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency. The short stretch of the coastline within the MPA is closed to shore fishing and invertebrate harvesting and no boat-based fishing is allowed offshore in the MPA.
protects rock lobsters heavily exploited elsewhere
protects oysters and mussels important for neighbouring communities
provides benchmark to study intertidal communities