The Prince Edward Islands are two island in the Southern Ocean located about 1,800km south-east of Port Elizabeth in mainland South Africa. Marion island, the larger of the two, is about 25km long, 17km wide and has a coastline of some 72km, while Prince Edward Island is only about 10km long and 6.5km wide. The only human inhabitants on the islands are the staff of a meteorological and biological research station run by the South African National Antarctic Programme on Marion Island.
View Prince Edward Islands declared a Marine Protected Area in a larger map
The marine diversity of the area around the Prince Edward Islands is of significant global importance. They are home to various species of seals (three species), penguins (four species) and Albatross (five species), as well as to several species of whale, especially orcas which prey on penguins and seals.
The new Prince Edward Islands MPA will comprise of three types of zones:
- A 12 nautical mile sanctuary (no take) zone
- Four restricted zones, in which fishing effort is limited
- A controlled zone, linking the four restricted areas. This zone is to be managed as a low impact zone that links the four zones spatially.