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Do MPAs really work? Tune into the MPA Day Webinar to discover the answer…and more!

The 1 August 2022 marks the second time MPA Day will be celebrated, with the importance of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) highlighted on a national and global level. Part of the programme to celebrate these ‘game reserves of the sea’ will be the MPA Day Webinar which welcomes leading marine experts who will share interesting facts about their research in MPAs at 7pm.

“MPA Day is about sharing with more and more people the importance of our oceans by helping them to explore this underwater world with us,” said Dr Judy Mann, Executive of Strategic Projects at The Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation. “Do MPAs really work? is often asked, so we’re very excited to welcome this knowledgeable team for the MPA Day Webinar, which will provide listeners with answers to this interesting question as well as valuable insight about research being conducted in our MPAs.”

The MPA Day Webinar includes a panel of four speakers who will talk for 10 minutes each with time for questions. Facilitated by Flow Communications, the webinar will start at 7pm. The topics will include:

·  Survey fishing and its role in MPA management

·  Fish tagging and how it has been used in MPAs

·  Acoustic telemetry and its relevance to MPA research

·  Visual census and underwater videos and how they are used in MPA research

Register for the webinar at: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UTAiAZAUTUyuSNU4bkCqLA

MPA Day Webinar Speaker Panel

1.  Prof Colin Attwood: Associate Professor in the Biological Sciences Department at UCT

Colin’s primary research focuses on the effect of fishing on fish populations and evaluating alternative strategies to conserve fish and to sustain fisheries. His work entails biological analyses, movement and migration studies, fishery assessment and modelling. He has previously worked for the South African National Antarctic Research Programme and the Benguela Ecology Programme, and was a Senior Specialist Scientist at the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (Marine and Coastal Management).

2.  Dr Bruce Mann: Senior Scientist at the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI)

Bruce has been working at the ORI in Durban since 1992, with much of his research focusing on the biology and population status of linefish species, with a particular focus on how MPAs can be used to ensure their effective management. Based on surf-zone fish monitoring and tagging work conducted in the iSimangaliso MPA since 2001, Bruce obtained his PhD degree in 2016, as well as being involved in establishing the Pondoland MPA in the Eastern Cape where he has run a reef fish monitoring and tagging project for the past 15 years.

3.  Dr Ryan Daly: Scientist at the Oceanographic Research Institute

Since 2010, Ryan has led studies on the ecology and migration dynamics of apex predators, such as bull sharks and giant trevally, in southern Mozambique, with his work on bull sharks earning him his PhD from Rhodes University in 2014. Between 2017 and 2019, Ryan held the position of Research Director for the Save Our Seas – D’Arros Research Centre in the Seychelles, where he coordinated marine research projects on multiple shark species, giant trevally, mantas, turtles and coral reefs. He is now continuing his research on movement patterns of various shark and ray species using acoustic and satellite telemetry.

4.  Dr Anthony Bernard: Instrument Scientist at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB)

Anthony’s research is focused on understanding the ecology of subtidal reef ecosystems within South Africa and the roles that natural disturbance – such as climate change – and anthropogenic disturbances – such as fishing – play in shaping community and population structures. Integral to this research is the role that MPAs play in biodiversity conservation and as experimental controls, or baselines, from which to measure the impacts of direct anthropogenic disturbances. A large component of Anthony’s research activity is also directed towards the development of sampling methods to best survey fish and invertebrate populations associated with reefs from the shallow subtidal down to the edge of the continental shelf.

How else can you celebrate MPA Day?

In addition to the webinar, there are a range of other celebrations taking place in and around MPA Day 2022.

These include:

  • A Twitter chat on MPA Day @MPAsSA1 at 6pm using the hashtags #MPADay #LetsTalkMPAs #MPA #MarineProtectedArea.
  • Passionate scientists and conservationists will hold celebrations on the shores of several of South Africa’s MPAs in the weekend leading up to MPA Day, 30 to 31 July. If you are lucky to live close to an MPA why not join them. Contact  mpadaysa@gmail.com for more information.
  • There will be a BIOBLITZ on the weekend 30 to 31 July with iNaturalist.
  • Enter the 2022 MPA Photo Competition to highlight the 41 South African Marine Protected Areas. More information is available  MPA+Day+Photo+Competition+2022+final.pdf (squarespace.com)

Find all the details of these and other activities MPA day — Marine Protected Areas South Africa

To find out more or join the discussions, check out the social media pages: Instagram

@marineprotectedareassa, Twitter @MPAsSA1 or Facebook Marine Protected Areas SA (@MPASouthAfrica).

For more information about MPAs, visit https://www.marineprotectedareas.org.za/. Hashtags #MPADay #LetsTalkMPAs #MPAs #MarineProtectedArea

The MPA Alliance partners leading MPA Day 2022 are: Flow Communications, Olivia Jones Communications, Two Oceans Aquarium, SAAMBR, WILDTRUST, WWF South Africa & Youth4MPAs.

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