False Bay is internationally iconic.  It evokes images of whales, mountains emerging from the sea, breaching sharks, long sandy beaches, a wealth of indigenous species and a rich heritage of fishing activities.

20 years ago concerned individuals from backgrounds incl. fishing, conservation, community NGOs etc met to discuss their concerns about the future health of and need for effective management of False Bay.  Many meetings later, the False Bay Forum, an independent body with broad based membership from interest groups and communities across the Bay was constituted. It was a community initiative dependant on volunteers offering their time and the Wildlife Society of SA offered secretarial support.  The job at hand was too big given the lack of funding and support from the authorities and the Forum faded.  Today 20 years later, the issues are the same, but the need to address them has become far more urgent.

A new initiative to achieve improved collective management based on a shared vision for False Bay is being managed by WWF in collaboration with the City of Cape Town (Environmental Resources) and is being funded by the Table Mountain Fund. 

A public participation process to get the input and involvement of all stakeholders has been embarked upon to inform the management priorities and the vision for False Bay.  The first meeting was held in Simon’s Town on 16 February to introduce the project and to explain the way forward.

The process in brief is as follows:

Multi stake holder engagement and focus group meetings to identify common goals and priorities.

A risk assessment framework.

Strive for a shared vision of priorities for False Bay. 

Create a False Bay Forum to represent stakeholders in a way that they can make meaningful input into coastal management.

Develop an integrated coastal and marine management plan for False Bay. 

Sign a partnership agreement based on a statement of intent.

 The key isssues that came out of the first public meeting held in Simon’s Town were:

– the lack of effective law enforcement wrt poaching and pollution.   

– need for accountability by the authorities mandated to manage False Bay (but who are ducking behind fragmented management responsibilities.)

– need for pro-active education and awareness about sustainable use of the Bay’s resources

– access and opportunities for a range of jobs associated with sustainable use of False Bay

inappropriate development too close to the coast.


Dates for forthcoming stake holder meetings:

A series of stakeholder workshops to facilitate input from stakeholders will be held at the Muizenberg Pavilion.

Date Time Topic
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 17:00 – 19:30 Tourism
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 17:00 – 19:30 Abalone fishery
Tuesday, 6 March 2012 17:00 – 19:30 Net fishery
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 17:00 – 19:30 Line fishery
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 17:00 – 19:30 Non-consumptive users/public
Wednesday, 28 March 2012 17:00 – 19:30 Rock lobster fishery
Tuesday, 3 April 2012 17:00 – 19:30 Recreational fishery

 Members of parastatals, the private sector and civil society are invited to attend the workshop session that closely represents their interest in or use of False Bay.  For more info contact Dr Eleanor Yeld Hutchings | Manager: Coastal Conservation Partnership, False Bay at email