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Urgent Project

Increase South Africa’s Marine Protection for Threatened Sharks and Rays

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Project Overview

Rainforest Trust has an extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase the impact of marine protection in South Africa.

  • Species at Risk

    6 species

  • Carbon stored

    (Not Applicable for MPAs)*

    *(metric tons of CO2 equivalents)
  • Partner

    WILDTRUST

  • 986,503 Acres Conserved by

    Designation

Project Cost: $1,465,045
Funding Raised: $219,757

Please note that your donation may not be immediately reflected in the funding thermometer above.

South Africa
Acres

986,503

Project Overview

Rainforest Trust has an extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase the impact of marine protection in South Africa.

  • Species at Risk

    6 species

  • Carbon stored

    (Not Applicable for MPAs)*

    *(metric tons of CO2 equivalents)
  • Partner

    WILDTRUST

  • 986,503 Acres Conserved by

    Designation

Project Cost: £1,061,626
Funding Raised: £159,244

Please note that your donation may not be immediately reflected in the funding thermometer above.

South Africa
Acres

986,503

South Africa is one of three marine global hotspots for sharks and rays, harboring 204 species—or one-third of the global fauna. These waters host an exceptionally high number of endemic species, as well as many large, wide-ranging threatened sharks and rays.

Historically, this marine and coastal habitat has been a safe harbor for species like Critically Endangered Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Tope or Soupfin Shark, Duckbill Eagle Ray and Endangered Spearnose Skate. But now, populations are slipping downward, setting off alarm bells for marine conservation.

To save these ecologically critical species and their habitat, Rainforest Trust and our partner, Wildlands Conservation Trust (WILDTRUST), are working to protect 986,503 acres—an area of coastal and offshore habitat 25% larger than Rhode Island—through the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Did you know?

986K

acres of marine habitat will be safeguarded

Explore the MPAs

Puffadder Shyshark
1 of 3

Puffadder Shyshark (EN), by Steve Benjamin/WILDTRUST

Duckbill Eagle Ray
2 of 3

Duckbill Eagle Ray (CR), by WILDTRUST

Tope (Soupfin) Shark
3 of 3

Tope (Soupfin) Shark (CR), by WILDTRUST

The Threat

Create a sanctuary to protect rare species

Overharvesting of fish in South African waters—along with illegal fishing and the cruel practice of shark-finning—are causing precipitous declines in shark and ray populations. Some of the country’s economic initiatives, like oil and gas exploration, sea-bed mining, marine infrastructure development, aquaculture and tourism, disturb and destroy critical habitat for dozens of threatened species. The 69 endemic species found only within very small geographic ranges are especially vulnerable to being wiped out by these practices.

What We're Doing

Help local communities build resilience

This expanded protection will also benefit local communities. Rainforest Trust is joining WILDTRUST in their three year mission working with partners, stakeholders and government authorities to build resilience and increase food security for coastal communities.

In addition, many of these sites are important ecotourism destinations with world famous scuba diving and recreational fishing. Creation of shark sanctuaries will improve ecotourism in the area and provide financial benefits for local communities.

100% of your money goes to our conservation efforts

Our Board members and other supporters cover our operating costs, so you can give knowing your whole gift will protect rainforests.

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