A clash of policies for a marine protected area: a case for South African Marion island


  • Knowledge Bengu University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Sanele Gumede University of KwaZulu-Natal


Customs procedures, marine protected area, Marion Island, South African marine policy


Marion Island, one of the two Prince Edward Islands in the southern Indian Ocean, is located about 1 190 miles (1 920 km) southeast of Cape Town. In 1947 South Africa proclaimed the islands’ sovereignty and established a meteorological station on Marion Island in 1948. These islands and their surroundings are the breeding ground for various fish and bird species. Given the pristine ecological nature of these islands, they enjoy the highest protection available under South African Legislation. It is required that foreign seagoing vessels that arrive or depart from these islands comply with the legislative frameworks that protect them. This study investigated the legal framework that supports the conservation of this island. The qualitative research method was used to help provide an in-depth description of the subject matter. A systematic literature review was conducted to assess the impact of the declaration of Marion Island as a marine protected area (MPA). The findings revealed that the Constitution of the RSA, the Environment Conservation Act, the Maritime Zones Act, the Marine Living Resources, the Protected Areas Act, the Waste Act, and the Air Quality Act are pivotal legal frameworks that govern the conservation of the islands. The study identified the Customs Control Act No. 31 of 2014, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act No. 3 of 2000, and the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964 as conflicting laws that regulate the declaration of goods and services destined for Marion Island. This study is unique as it provides a better understanding of these contradictory laws. To address the discrepancies in these conflicting pieces of Legislation, the study recommends that government initiates public education and awareness programmes.



How to Cite

Bengu, K., & Gumede, S. (2024). A clash of policies for a marine protected area: a case for South African Marion island. Moses Kotane Institute Journal, 1(2). Retrieved from http://journal.moseskotaneinstitute.com/index.php/Journals/article/view/25