Evaluating the efficacy of a marine reserve for endemic and threatened sharks off South Africa

Grantee Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, University of Miami
Location South Africa
Grant Amount 25,000
Duration One year
Type of Grant Small

The waters of South Africa are home to a diverse array of sharks, many of which are data-deficient, endemic and/or threatened – and its southern cape harbors one of the world’s largest marine reserves, the De Hoop Nature Reserve (DHNR). While sharks are protected within the reserve, the reef habitat they occupy extends outside its boundary, eastward for approximately five km; in this unregulated area, sharks are vulnerable to shark longline fishing occurring there. This project will investigate if extending the DHNR boundary to include the entire reef will provide direct protections for these endemic and/or threatened species. Cape Nature, the public institution that manages the DHNR, will use the results of this study to determine if the boundaries should be modified as part of its ongoing evaluation of the reserve design.