Supporting South Africa’s marine protected areas and profiling the West Coast National Park MPA. The West Coast National Park under the management of South African National Parks is responsible for the management of the Sixteen-mile Beach, Langebaan Lagoon, Malgas Island, Jutten Island and Marcus Island marine protected areas. The Langebaan Lagoon is the only non-estuarine tidal lagoon in South Africa, protecting about 32% of South Africa’s saltmarshes. It is an important non-breeding site for hundreds of thousands of Palaearctic migrant waders during the summer months.
Langebaan Lagoon has a rich marine invertebrate fauna of more than 400 species having been recorded and the lagoon is one of two habitats for South Africa’s most endangered marine mollusk, (Siphonaria). Another small mollusk (Assiminea globulus) constitutes about 63 % of the invertebrate biomass in the surface layers of the intertidal mudflats of the lagoon, and it is the major prey item of the Curlew, which is one of the most abundant migrant waders.
29 bony fish species and 12 shark and ray species have been recorded in the lagoon with the sandshark (Rhinobatos annulatus) being an important predator due to its numbers and biomass. Important recreational and commercial linefish species such as Geelbek, Cape Stumpnose, Snoek and Yellowtail occur within the lagoon.
Malgas, Jutten, Schaapen and Marcus Island are vitally important as seabird breeding islands with Malgas Island being one of only three islands in South Africa where Cape Gannet breed. Approximately 30 percent of the world's population of African Black Oystercatchers breed on these islands. The endangered Bank Cormorant - whose numbers have plummeted from 8 700 breeding pairs in 1980 to a current number of 4 900 pairs - also breed on these islands. The largest known colony of Kelp Gulls in Southern Africa is found on Schaapen Island.
For more information please do visit Marine Protected Areas South Africa and also please help spread the news in support of our MPAs.