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In the early hours of 13 March 2014, a vessel ran aground at Ponta Mamoli in the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve, the Mozambican component of the Ponta do Ouro-Kosi Bay TFCA in the Lubombo TFCA.
The marine reserve park warden was notified and he immediately made contact with the relevant officials in Mozambique and South Africa. These included the National Agency for Conservation Areas (ANAC), the Instituto Nacional de Marinha (INAMAR), the CEO of iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, Peace Parks Foundation and the international coordinator for the Lubombo TFCA.
The main concern for the marine reserve was the potential leak of pollutants into the sea that would harm the coral reefs and marine life. Thanks to the cross-border cooperation that exists in this marine TFCA, the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve was assisted by iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority with the necessary procedures to dispose of the wreckage. The procedures enabled the marine reserve to oversee the proper removal by the owners of the vessel.
The marine reserve is pleased that the vessel has been removed without damage to the sensitive marine environment, and thanks iSimangaliso for its assistance.
By Miguel Goncalves
Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve
Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation and Resource Area
The Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve has a rich diversity of marine life and is the most important leatherback and loggerhead turtle nesting ground along the Mozambican coast. Leatherbacks are the largest sea turtles and classified as critically endangered by the IUCN, while loggerhead sea turtles have been classified as endangered.
The marine reserve is part of the first marine transfrontier conservation area (TFCA) in Africa, the Ponta do Ouro- Kosi Bay TFCA, where Mozambique’s Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve turtle monitoring programme links up with the one across the border in South Africa’s iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site.