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The SANCTUARY for Sharks & Rays project is a 3-year project in partnership with the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment funded by Rainforest Trust, Oceans 5 and Shark Conservation Fund. The project aims to achieve the designation of new areas of protection, expanded protected areas and or rezoned areas for sharks and rays.


The hope is for an additional 5% ocean protection for South Africa in achieving our global commitment of 10%, which will include critical habitats and areas for this slow growing species, which is late to mature and produces few young, while concurrently working with conservation management authorities of existing MPAs to rezone parts of the MPAs, to create dedicated sanctuary areas for sharks and rays.



To finalise the proposed boundaries for candidate sanctuary areas (no-take) in OECMs, New Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), Expanded MPAs and Re-zoned existing MPAs and provide the technical information to explain the importance of these areas for threatened sharks and rays.


To provide legal and technical support for the designation and establishment processes, including the preparation of notices of intent to declare these candidate areas as sanctuaries (no-take) in MPAs or OECMs for publication in the Government Gazette for public and stakeholder consultation, and the preparation of the final designation notices to be published.


To create awareness and knowledge about shark and ray conservation status and protection needs, amongst stakeholders and government decision-makers. This should especially note the importance and value of the candidate new sanctuary areas, strengthening support for the designation and establishment of these MPAs, and their effective compliance once designated.


To facilitate and support the key stakeholder and public consultation processes required to achieve final designation of these areas as sanctuaries, and to ensure ongoing engagement and participation of interested stakeholders.


To support the implementation processes for these sanctuary areas, including development of new or revised Management Plans, demarcation and law enforcement, infrastructure, and technology.

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