[MARMAM] Transfrontier marine park a first

Angie Gullan angie at dolphin-encountours.co.za
Wed Oct 21 21:45:26 PDT 2009


FYI

  Transfrontier marine park a first
     Barbara Cole	
     October 21 2009 at 02:26PM

Africa's first - and largest - transfrontier marine conservation area  
has been established, connecting Maputaland in South Africa's World  
Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, with Mozambique's first  
marine conservancy, the Ponto de Ouro Marine Protected Area.

This creates a vast protected marine area covering 300km of unbroken  
coastline and near-pristine beaches, from St Lucia in the south to  
Mozambique's Maputo Special Reserve.

It is made up of 220km on the South African side and 80km in Mozambique.

The Mozambique protected area of 678 square kilometres includes Inhaca  
and Portuguese islands, the Maputo Special Reserve, and stretches  
three nautical miles out to sea.
Continues Below ↓






The site is an important feeding area for turtle
Additionally, Mozambique has lodged an application for its protected  
area to be declared a World Heritage Site, just as neighbouring  
iSimangaliso is.

iSimangaliso was awarded this status in December, 1999, on the basis  
of its biodiversity. It is also the largest significant breeding place  
for leatherback turtles in Africa.

If Mozambique's application to Unesco is successful, it, along with  
iSimangaliso, would form Africa's first Transboundary Marine World  
Heritage Site, said Andrew Zaloumis, iSimangaliso chief executive and  
chairman of the Ponta do Ouro/Kosi Bay Transfrontier Conservation Task  
Team.

The Ponta de Ouro Protected Marine Area is considered one of eight key  
biodiversity sites (seascapes) of global importance within the Eastern  
African Marine Ecoregion (EAME), according to the submission to Unesco  
by the Mozambican National Directorate for Culture.

In its statement of "Justification of Outstanding Universal Value",  
the Unesco submission describes the Ponto de Oura Protected Marine  
Area's coral reefs as among the highest latitude coral reefs in the  
world, with characteristics that make them unique, says the submission.

It has taken five years for Mozambique to proclaim the protected area
"The reef complex, located in the central area (Ponta Dobela to Ponta  
Techobanine), is considered the best in southern Mozambique and (is)  
of unique value in the country."

Considereda recruitment source of coral larvae for the iSimangaliso  
coral reefs to the south, fish associated with these reefs are also  
highly diverse, with about 400 recorded species.

The site is an important feeding area for turtle, dugong and migratory  
birds, such as Whimbrel and flamingos. Loggerhead and leatherback  
turtles nest along the beaches from October to January between Inhaca  
Island and Ponta de Ouro.

Cites-listed species requiring special protection include the turtles  
as well as dugong, whales, white and whale sharks, and some bird  
species. It is also the northern limit of migration for Southern Right  
whales.

It has taken five years for Mozambique to proclaim the protected area,  
because it initially did not have relevant legislation in place, said  
Zaloumis.

Activities such as commercial fishing, fishing on coral reefs and  
fishing with explosives are now banned. Driving on the beaches is also  
prohibited. However, recreational fishing - under strict controls -  
will be permitted.

The Mozambique tourism minister, Fernando Sumbana, said in a  
statement: "This is a vital step in protecting marine turtles that  
nest in high densities along the pristine beaches of the Maputo  
Special Reserve, other rare or endangered species, marine mammals and  
ecosystems."

For the Love of Dolphins

Angie Gullan
DolphinCare-Africa / EnCOuntours

research, volunteer, conservation
www.dolphincare.org
info at dolphincare.org
00258 84 330-3859


dolphin interaction programs & beachcamp bookings
www.dolphin-encountours.co.za
info at dolphin-encountours.co.za
+27 11 462-8103 / 082 920-8952







A
  Memorandum
  of
  Understanding
exists
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  Natural
  History
  Museum
  of
the
  University
Eduardo
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&
  Cetacea
  Charters
  Lda
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  EnCOuntours
/
Care Africa.
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