The Minister of Environmental Affairs has announced that she has opened the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Tsitsikamma to fishing, which has changed the protected status of the reserve.
Minister Edna Molewa initially published draft regulations on the 19th November 2015 to withdraw the existing Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area, and these regulations are open to public comments for 60 days from this date.
The decision follows a 20-year-old journey initiated by Tsitsikamma anglers who cited cultural, historical and subsistence reasons for requesting fishing rights in the Marine Protected Area.
The Department of Environmental Affairs, SANParks, the Koukamma Municipality and other stakeholders have held various meetings with the Tsitsikamma angling forum to discuss the zonation of possible controlled areas within the MPA. The intention is to reassess the basis of marine resource use in the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area of the Garden Route National Park, which is currently a safe haven and breeding ground for line fish and squid.