uThukela SMART zone

uThukela Marine Protected Area Ecosystem Based Adaptation Project

The uThukela Banks are a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) that lie to the north of Durban (South Africa). This MPA was one of 20 areas that were gazetted in May 2019 (with commencement in August 2019). Designation of uThukela, followed many years of work from WILDTRUST, SANBI, ENZNW.

The Project seeks to achieve effective management of the MPA, restoration of ecosystems relevant for climate change adaptation, improved livelihoods and food security for the local communities and to share findings nationally and internationally. This Project will provide a model of socio-ecological resilience through nature-based solutions within a financially sustainable framework.

To support the baseline knowledge of the mesophotic reefs that are protected within the MPA, Nekton is consulting on the ROV survey operations and providing mentorship and training. Partners will assess the benthic communities from across the MPA, taking account of the different zones that have been assigned