The De Hoop Marine Protected Area (DH MPA) is located adjacent to the De Hoop Nature Reserve, between the coastal town of Arniston and the Breede River mouth on the South African east coast. The MPA is 51 kilometres in length, stretching 5 nautical miles out to sea. The entire MPA is a Restricted zone (No Take Area) and forms part of the very important migratory route and calving area for Southern Right whales.

This MPA provides protected habitats for close inshore fish species like galjoen, dassie (black tail), black mussel cracker (poenskop), white mussel cracker and wildeperd. It plays a vital role in ensuring marine biomass in this coastal area that would otherwise be fished to the same levels as the rest of the adjacent coastal areas. The MPA is connected to the CapeNature managed De Hoop Nature Reserve. The limestone coastline is rich in history with archaeological sites and middens that date back centuries.  The large rock pools in the MPA are accessible to the public for snorkelling, where they will be able to observe many fish species, marine habitats, organisms and plant life.

The De Hoop MPA borders the Breede River estuary and, although not part of the MPA, the two interact in many ways, like providing protection for species like cob (kabeljou) that breed in the estuary and then return to the ocean where the MPA provides protection.

Managed by:

MPA established date:

Length of coastline protected:
51 km

Area of ocean protected:
288,9 km²


  • To conserve the representative biodiversity of De Hoop NR and MPA with particular emphasis on local endemic and threatened species.
  • To implement the integrated management of the terrestrial and marine component of the DHNRC.
  • To ensure integrated, cooperative and compliant management including partnerships.
  • To conserve/maintain the ecosystem and its processes.
  • To conserve the cultural heritage within the NR and MPA.
  • To promote and enable conservation orientated research within the NR and MPA.
  • To provide quality environmental education, awareness and outreach programmes to the youth, via the CapeNature’s People and Conservation Programme.
  • To provide biodiversity access and benefit sharing opportunities for communities.
  • To provide for appropriate nature based recreation, tourism and sustainable income generation activities within the framework of the Green Economy.

Managed by:

Contact details for MPA office:
Reserve Manager – Mr Adrian Fortuin
Phone: 028 542 1114