As a dedicated conservationist and wildlife and conservation photographer, Peter Chadwick has over 25 years of experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He is the founder of African Conservation Photography and has worked throughout southern Africa in some of its most special wild places, including the Kalagadi Desert, Kruger National Park, Drakensberg Mountains, the sub-antarctic Prince Edward Islands and De Hoop Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area.
He compiled this article shared via his Facebook page Peter Chadwick at African Conservation Photography dd 16 Oct 2018.

Supporting South Africa’s marine protected areas – Stillbay MPA.
Stillbay is one of those idyllic South African coastal towns that offer the best of sun, sea, river and beach thus making it one of the most perfect holiday destinations! The marine protected area is not there to stop people from having access to marine resources but rather is there to make sure that utilization can be carried out in a sustainable manner. Within its boundaries is the countries best-preserved example of stone-age fish traps, sections of the Goukou estuary and a coastal and marine section that extends 4.7 kms out to sea.

Iconic species to be found within the MPA includes southern right whales, ragged-toothed sharks, numerous species of reef fish and delicate pansy shells. Perhaps the most interesting species however are the African mottled eel and the longfin eel. These animals complete a remarkable journey, having spawned off Mozambique or Madagascar, the eels then enter estuaries in South Africa where they mature in quite freshwater streams, a process reputed to take up to twenty years. The mature eels, well over a meter in length, return to the sea via the estuary to swim over 2000 kms to complete their life cycle. These eels may be viewed at Palinggat, a small freshwater pond in Stillbay.
The estuary mouth is a nutrient rich environment of mud flats and salt marshes where invertebrates thrive. Hidden worms, crustaceans and molluscs attract waders in large variety and numbers. During the summer months grey plovers, whimbrels, greenshanks, marsh sandpipers and common ringed plovers fly in from northern climes to join the resident waders. The estuary is also an important nursery area for many young stages of commercially important coastal fish species.
Skulpiesbaai Nature Reserve, that lies to the west of the small fishing harbour, is excellent for watching seabirds and for exploring amongst the intertidal rock pools.
For more information please do visit and also please help spread the news in support of our MPAs @ Still Bay, Western Cape, South Africa
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