THE ALGOA BAY PROJECT
Working together for our oceans
The Algoa Bay project was established in 2017 as part of a National Research Foundation Community of Practice project towards a Marine Spatial Plan in Algoa Bay and has since been developed into a platform to support multidisciplinary research linked to ocean conservation and sustainable use.
The Algoa Bay Project has supported six multidisciplinary projects with both national and international collaborators, four of these are still ongoing. These projects use Algoa Bay as their area of focus, using stakeholder driven research linked to Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), ocean governance, climate change response, ocean management, valuation of the ocean (ocean accounting) and systems dynamics modelling.
Marine Spatial Planning in South Africa
Through Operation Phakisa, launched in 2014, South Africa is committed to unlocking the economic potential of our oceans. Current single-sector planning can lead to unsustainable practices and conflict between different activities. Instead, integrated planning can promote sustainable activities and maximise socio-economic benefits while ensuring environmental protection.
The Marine Spatial Planning Bill, published by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in 2018, calls for the development of a Marine Spatial Plan for the South African maritime domain to ensure a productive, healthy and safe ocean that is accessible, understood, equitably governed and sustainably developed and managed for the benefit of all.
Algoa Bay is a hub for marine research in South Africa due to the diversity of its habitats, invertebrates, seaweed, coral and dynamic oceanographic processes. The area hosts several top marine predators, some of which are listed as threatened or endangered on the IUCN red list.
Extensive long term biophysical data has been collected in and around the Bay focusing on oceanographic features including the Agulhas current. There is a strong socio-economic reliance on the Bay's natural resources and ecosystem services such as the ports, beaches, industry and the coastal communities. Furthermore the complex scales of governance in the Bay play an important role in ocean management.
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”