Media Release: Park Manager Allays Fears over Proposed Marine Protected Area
Reacting to concerns raised by residents of Colchester, Alexandria, Boknes and Bushman’s River, Addo Elephant National Park Manager, Lucius Moolman, assured citizens that their rights would not be taken away.
“We are proposing a Marine Protected Area in Algoa Bay in order to conserve vital marine resources and processes, but this does not mean that fishing and bait collecting will be prohibited over the whole area,” said Moolman.
Moolman continued: “We are aware that there are people within the communities in this area who depend on the sea and Sundays River for their livelihood, as well as those who use the area for recreation.”
“This is why we have initiated a public participation process to allow us to incorporate all the needs and concerns of affected parties.”
Meetings have been held in Alexandria, Colchester/Cannonville, Boknes, Bushman’s River and Port Elizabeth to provide a forum for any interested and affected parties to comment on the proposed Marine Protected Area, as well as the park’s Conservation Development Framework process.
In addition, meetings with organized groups such as ratepayers’ associations and angling clubs have been held to take into account needs and concerns.
In response to requests at these initial meetings, the period for comment from interested and affected parties has been extended until the 13th of January 2006 in order to include those property owners who are only resident in these areas during the festive season.
“If the proposed Marine Protected Area is proclaimed, after the proper consultative process has taken its course, there will definitely be ‘take’ and ‘no-take’ zones as well as areas of high-use recreation, areas of limited recreation and remote areas where no recreational activities take place,” said Moolman.
“This will ensure that we create the desired balance between the needs of current users and conservation needs in order to ensure the future sustainability of this area.”
Issued by: South African National Parks
Social Ecologist / Media Liaison
Tel: (042) 2330556 / 083 6508649
Tel: (042) 2330556 / 082 9054652