Title: Draft Regulations for the Management of the Tsitsikama National Park Marine Protected Area and Regulations
Government Notice: GN 1145 and 1146 in GG 39424 of 19 November 2015
Date of commencement: Not yet specified
Potentially affected controls: Applications for authorisation in terms of NEMA and NEMPA

This notice declares the Tsitsikama National Park as Tsitsikama National Park Marine Protected Area under section 22A of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act 57 of 2003. The purpose for declaring this marine protected area is:

(a) To contribute to a national and global representative system of marine protected areas by providing protection to the coastal and offshore benthic and pelagic ecosystems of the Agulhas Inshore Bioregion;
(b) to conserve and protect threatened ecosystems;
(c) to conserve and protect the biodiversity and ecological processes associated with these ecosystems;
(d) to protect and regulate access to a scenic area which contributes to eco-tourism;
(e) to protect the cultural heritage of the coastline;
(f) to facilitate species management by protecting spawning stock and nursery areas for fish species and allowing stock recovery and enhancing intertidal and subtidal resource abundance in adjacent areas;
(g) to protect and provide an appropriate reference environment for research and monitoring. This includes research to assess biodiversity status, the impact of limited recreational fishing access in controlled areas, and resource recovery in areas where there is no access to resources; and
(h) to restrict or prohibit activities that may have an adverse effect on species, ecosystems and ecological processes.

The Tsitsikama National Park Marine Protected Area consists of one restricted zone and four controlled zones. Various restrictions will be imposed in these zones. Such include, inter alia:

  • No person may undertake any scientific research within the Marine Protected Area, except on the authority of a scientific research permit issued by the Minister.
  • The owner, skipper or operator of a vessel shall not enter or operate a vessel in the Marine Protected Area without a valid certificate of competence and certificate of fitness issued in respect of such vessel, and such original certificates must be available for inspection at all times
  • No person may moor or anchor any vessel in the Marine Protected Area except— (a) under conditions of force majeur; or (b) for the use of a vessel by an employee of the Department or any other organ of state acting in the course and scope of their employment or mandate.
  • No person may undertake any activity listed in section 48A(1) of the Act, in the Marine Protected Area, unless specifically authorised to do so in terms of these regulations.
  • No person shell fish, or attempt to fish, in the Tsitsikama Restricted Zone.
  • No person shall fish, or attempt to fish, in Tsitsikama Controlled Zones 1- 4 unless they are a registered Tsitsikama angler and are in possession of a valid recreational angling, or bait permit issued in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act.

Any person who wishes to submit representations or comments in connection with the draft regulations are invited to do so by no later than 16h00 on Monday 1 February 2016.