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Marine Protected Area

The seas around the Cape Peninsula are rich in marine biodiversity because it is where the cold Benguela and warm Atlantic currents mix. In 2004 the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area (MPA) was pronounced to help ensure that commercial and recreational use of the ocean is sustainable.

The MPA includes 1000km2 of the sea and coastline around the Cape Peninsula from Moullie Point in the North to Muizenberg in the south. While fishing is allowed in the majority of the MPA - subject to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ (DAFF) permits, regulations and seasons, it also includes six restricted areas with five "no take" zones within the MPA where no fishing or extractive activities are allowed. In the sixth restricted area around the Karbonkelberg in Hout Bay, only snoek are allowed to be caught deeper than the 35m contour.

These restricted or “no-take” zones are important breeding and nursery areas for marine life and through leaving these undisturbed there will ultimately be an increase in marine stock and threatened species are given a chance to regenerate.

The MPA is managed by TMNP in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). TMNP undertakes the administrative and inshore law enforcement and educational activities while DAFF is responsible for issuing permits, quotas and law enforcement.  

There are strict rules and regulations in place regarding fishing in the MPA – click here to view these. Alternatively, visit the department’s website at

For further information on fishing, season dates, marine species, etc, please click on a link below:

West Coast Rock Lobster
DAFF website 

The Marine Team, based at Kommetjie adjacent to the Slangkop Tented camp, is faced with the challenge of combating poaching and educating the fishing communities around sustainable use. Poaching is the single biggest threat to our marine environment and has resulted in strict regulations and bans on some recreational activities. Members of the public are asked to report poaching on 021 783 0234.

For information on sustainable use of the oceans please visit: or send an SMS to 079 499 8795.

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