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.