SA to create large marine-protected area around Prince Edwards Islands

Engineering News
By: Chanel Pringle
8th May 2009

Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk on Friday gazetted a proposal to create one of the world’s largest marine protected areas (MPAs) surrounding the Prince Edwards Island group, comprising Marion Island and the Prince Edwards Island in the Southern Indian Ocean.

This would also be South Africa’s first offshore MPA and followed a five-year process during which a scientific plan and draft management plan were developed, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (Deat) said in a statement.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Nature welcomed the announcement, noting that the island group formed an important global biodiversity hot spot, which was also home to several species of marine wildlife, including albatrosses, penguins and killer whales.

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