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African penguin population is crucial

The fragile penguin populations depend on sardines and anchovies for their diet. Competition for fish stocks is high here, with sardine and anchovy fisheries in Algoa Bay targeting the waters around St Croix as it is the closest source. No-take zones contribute to improving feeding conditions for penguin populations. We are urging the minister to immediately close the feeding grounds of South Africa’s African penguin colonies to the sardine or anchovy fishing industry for as long as necessary while their numbers are plummeting.

Professor Lorien Pichegru is Director of the Institute for Coastal and Marine Research at Nelson Mandela University.