Since being proclaimed a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 1990, Goukamma has been heralded as one of the country’s great marine success stories where the environment has received special protection.
Just 10 kilometres west of Knysna, the Goukamma MPA has the coast line of approximately 14km from Buffels Bay to Platbank and stretches one nautical mile (1.85 km) out into ocean.
The Goukamma MPA supports a rich mixture of warm temperate species, including many species that are endemic to the south coast of South Africa.
The MPA estuary is one of very few semi-closed estuaries. It functions naturally and no artificial opening or closing of the mouth is carried out. An important factor for MPA estuary is the fact that it has large catchments area.
The MPA is an important breeding area for the rare African black oystercatcher, while many other sea birds are known to frequent the area.
Globally threatened sea turtles are present in the area, including loggerhead, green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles. Many other species of marine mammals have been sighted including various species of dolphin, whales, sharks and seals.
Management of marine living resources in South Africa is a national responsibility and they are declared under the marine living resources act (no.18, 1998).
~ Information supplied by Cape Nature