1. The Minister for Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms. Barbara Creecy, published a notice in the Official Gazette on Friday 22nd July 2022 inviting the public to comment on the draft Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for the penguin African.
3. The public is invited to provide comments on the draft revision of the African Penguin BMP for continuation of ongoing and modified actions and consideration of new actions that aim to address emerging threats. Actions and threats include improving, where possible, access to available food for African penguins, population modeling to assess multiple threats to African penguins, reviewing implementation and monitoring of predation management, threats in the sea, human-induced stress and mitigation intervention in management processes implemented for ship-to-ship bunkering, among others.
4. The Biodiversity Management Plan for the African Penguin was first published in 2013 due to the rapid decline of the species in the 20th century. The African penguin is the only extant penguin in Africa and is endemic to both Namibia and South Africa. This once most abundant South African seabird suffered a massive decline from over a million pairs in the 1920s to a current population of just over 10,400 pairs in 2021. It is currently listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and under the Endangered or Protected Marine Species (TOPMS) Regulations published under the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEM:BA).
5. The objective of the 2013 African Penguin BMP was to “halt population decline of African penguins in South Africa within two years of implementation of the management plan and subsequently achieve population growth that results in from the list of species in terms of their status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species”.
6. The implementation of the African Penguin BMP actions was a cooperative effort with the managing authorities managing the African penguin breeding colonies, the fisheries sector, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), as well as several non-governmental organizations. , academic and research institutions. Despite the successful implementation of many of the actions listed in the plan, this was not achieved and African penguin populations have continued to decline, albeit at a slower rate.
7. Members of the public are invited to submit their comments, within 30 calendar days from July 22, 2022. All representations and comments must be submitted, in writing, using one of the following methods:
8. By mail to:
9. The Deputy Director General: Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment of Oceans and Coasts, Private Bag X4390, Cape Town, 8001
10. Attention: Ms. Millicent M Makoala
11. Hand delivery:
12. The Deputy Director General: Oceans and Coasts, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, 1 East Pier Building, East Pier Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town,
13. Attention: Ms. Millicent M Makoala
15. To access the Gazette, click on the following link: https://dffe.gov.za