Our South African coastline

by | Sep 21, 2014 | Ecological Info

The coastline of South Africa is one of the most productive and diverse marine systems in the world. More than 11,000 marine species have been recorded in local waters, more than 5% of all known global marine species. Amazingly, 31% of these species are endemic to the region (not found anywhere else).

The cold and highly productive waters of the West coast are the engine room for the majority of South Africa’s commercial fisheries while the warmer and more diverse East coast is the focus for tourism. The East coast is also the home of some of our poorest rural communities that are directly reliant on the coast for their livelihoods.

Overall, South Africa’s off-shore fish stocks remain in relatively good shape compared to stocks in the Northern hemisphere, however the present state of our inshore resources is of serious concern. Poor management and in some cases well organized international crime have had a devastating impact on these resources.

Our marine program works to ensure that there is adequate protection of our marine resources and environments through facilitating the establishing of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as well as promoting Sustainable Fisheries.