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Oceans and Coasts


An integral part of the environment is undoubtedly the Oceans and Coasts. The marine and coastal environment are national assets which provide and sustain a wide range of economic, social and ecological services that are a foundation for the livelihoods of millions of South Africans. They not only underpin national and international transport, mining, coastal tourism and fisheries industries but also are vital components of the climate system as a carbon sink and global temperature controller.

Investigations have found that South Africa’s oceans economy has potential to contribute more than R20 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2019 and at least 1 million jobs by 2033. As the DEA, our role in this regard is particularly focused on marine protection services and ocean governance, which entails the protection of the ocean environment from all illegal activities and promotion of its multiple socio-economic benefits.

Our focus is on the management and conservation of our oceans and coastal environment. The purpose is to bring about harmony and integration of the various role players in the ocean space, but also safeguard against any possible compromise of the ocean environment through application of different legislation relevant to oceans and coastal management.

We also continue to strengthen research programmes for integrated oceans and coastal management. Through the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP), the department has maintained South Africa’s research presence in Antarctica and the Prince Edward Islands. The scientific data that is collected during voyages is critical to the understanding of amongst other things, the impacts of climate change and weather information associated with extreme events.


Purpose and functions


Oceans & Coasts (OC) deals with the promotion, management and strategic leadership on oceans and coastal conservation in South Africa.


The key focus areas in driving oceans and coastal environment conservation are:


  • The establishments of management frameworks and mechanisms for the ocean and coastal environment.
  • The strengthening of national science programmes for integrated oceans and coastal management.
  • The Development of and contribution to effective knowledge and information management for the sector.
  • The participation and support to international agreements and bodies supportive of SA environmental and sustainable development priorities. 

Structure and contact details


Deputy Director-General Oceans and Coasts: Ms Judy Beaumont

Telephone: +27 21 819 2410

Fax: +27 


Chief Directorate - Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy Secretariat: Mr André Share

Tel: +27 12 399 8958 or 9137 
Tel: +27 21 819 2607 

Chief Directorate - Oceans and Coastal Research: Dr Ashley Naidoo

Tel: +27 21 819 5001

Chief Directorate - Integrated Coastal Management: Advocate (Adv.) Radia Razack

Chief Directorate - Specialist Monitoring Services: Mr  Lisolomzi Fikizolo 

Tel: + 27 21 819 2575
Fax: +27 819 2444

Related projects / programmes categories

Operation Phakisa - Oceans Economy

Operation Phakisa is a results-driven approach, involving setting clear plans and targets, on-going monitoring of progress and making these results public. The methodology consists of eight sequential steps. It focusses on bringing key stakeholders from the public and private sectors, academia as well as civil society organisations together to collaborate in:

  •  detailed problem analysis;
  •  priority setting;
  •  intervention planning; and
  •  delivery


SA Agulhas II

S. A. Agulhas II is a South African icebreaking polar supply and research ship owned by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). She was built in 2012 by STX Finland in Rauma, Finland, to replace the aging S.A. Agulhas, which was retired from SANAP duty, but is fullfilling a training role with SAMSA since 2012. Unlike her predecessor, S. A. Agulhas II was designed from the beginning to carry out both scientific research and supply South African research stations in the Antarctic.


Allocation process for boat-based whale watching and white shark cage diving operating permits

Boat-Based Whale and Dolphin Watching (BBWW) is the observing of whales and dolphins behaviour in their natural environment from sea-going vessels, while White Shark Cage Diving (WSCD) involves observing free swimming Great White Sharks from vessels and/or from within a protective cage that is submerged in water. Both BBWW and WSCD have grown from adhoc activities to regulated commercial operations contributing to coastal and marine tourism.

Cape Canyon Science Expedition

A DEA team of scientists returned on the 28 March 2018 from a four-week long expedition to explore some undocumented areas of the seafloor off the West Coast. The seafloor has long been a mystery to humans, being as it is, covered by hundreds of metres (and sometimes kilometres) of water.

Weddel Sea Expedition

16 April 2018 - The University of Cape Town’s Dr Sarah Fawcett was interviewed on the Azania Mosaka show on Radio 702.

Dr Fawcett spoke about SA’s research partnerships in Antarctica and spoke about the excellent work being done by DEA through the SA Agulhas II.

Follow the link to listen to the interview.

» South Africa to play key role in unprecedented international scientific expedition.


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