The African penguin population is declining at an alarming rate and urgent intervention is needed. The government has come up with a draft Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) to save the African Penguin and has asked the public to weigh in.
‘We are at a crucial moment – the next few weeks could directly determine whether African penguins go extinct or not. This is no exaggeration, with fewer than 50 000 birds left of a species which used to number in the millions, we need to make sure that viable protections are put in place soon,’ the Two Oceans Aquarium said.
What can I do?
‘We think the BMP is a big step in the right direction, but there are some crucial issues that we would like addressed – and YOU can help influence this policy,’ they added.
Here are the core issues we have with the draft plan:
- Actions in the BMP need clear timelines and responsible parties.
- Food shortage is a major threat to the survival of African penguins, we need fishing around penguin breeding colonies to be ended.
- Off-shore bunkering of fuel and oil should be banned near penguin colonies to prevent catastrophic oil spills.
- Penguins need to receive the highest level of protection as an endangered species in South Africa.
- The future of penguins affects many South Africans, and we would like the BMP to include greater stakeholder engagement from a wider segment of the ocean community, such as the tourism sector.
For more context, the Aquarium expands on these issues here: aquarium.co.za
Don’t let the African penguin go extinct on our watch – email your written comment on the BMP to [email protected] before 21 August.
Picture: @SanDeeWilliams / Facebook