Namaqua National Park MPA

"Forests and Flowers"

Namaqualand, Northern Cape


This coastal wilderness supports a garden of sealife that includes giant kelp forests and deep mussel beds, home to our precious and overexploited west coast rock lobsters.

This 500 km2 proposed MPA provides the first protection to habitats in the Namaqua bioregion including several critically endangered coastal ecosystem types. The area is a nursery area for Cape hakes, one of our most valuable fisheries resources. The MPA will help the northern Cape to benefit from South Africa’s growing tourism economy, as investment in this remote area has lagged. This MPA is an important component of South Africa’s climate adaptation strategy. The groundbreaking ecological research and detailed ecosystem mapping and monitoring that has been taking place in the area since 1976 means that this area can provide a baseline to understand human impacts – this area tells us how harvesting, mining, the introduction of alien species (such as European mussels and barnacles) and climate change can affect our environment.



  • First protection for Namaqua ocean ecosystem types and a priority estuary

  • Protects hake nursery habitat

  • Supports recovery of west coast rock lobster

  • Important ecotourism area