The research and monitoring within Marine Protected Areas (MPA) provide broad benefits that can aid the understanding and management of marine ecosystems. Monitoring also helps define the relationship between people and the marine environment. The long-term management and exploration of the unique characteristics and sustainability of an MPA includes the role of educating local communities and visitors in reference to the marine environment’s ecological, historical and cultural significance.

The impact of human activity and natural events can be measured over time. As a result, this can assist scientists as a point of reference to compare this data to adjacent unprotected marine environments. Species protection and management is also of the utmost importance and forms part of the benefits of coastal protection and monitoring. Monitoring of protected habitats and ecosystems provide scientists with baseline data that can be used when protected areas have been damaged or destroyed.

The following can contribute to this protected areas damage and destruction;

  • climate change,
  • sea temperature rise,
  • salinity,
  • acidification,
  • sea level rise,
  • pollution,
  • flooding at estuaries leading to excess silt being deposited into the oceans,
  • ground water runoff into the oceans,
  • oil from stranded ships

Research and monitoring when properly implemented play a vital role in protecting marine habitats, species, ecosystems and marine biodiversity.

Amathole Marine Protection Area

Dwesa Cwebe Marine Protected Area

Hluleka Marine Protected Area

Pondoland Marine Protected Area

Robberg Marine Protected Area

Marine Protected Areas Research