The Robberg Marine Protected Area (MPA) adjoining the Robberg Nature Reserve at the Robberg Peninsula was proclaimed in 2000 (Government Notice 21984). The coastal length of the MPA is 12.9 km, of which 11.05 km is along the Robberg Peninsula and 1.85 km is along Robberg Beach, it extends 1.85 km into the sea and has an area of 2 270 ha (CapeNature 2006). The MPA contains rocky platforms, sandy beaches, subtidal rocky reefs and subtidal sandy benthos, and supports a rich mixture of warm temperate marine species, including many species that are endemic to the south coast of South Africa. The submerged rocks within the MPA proffer food and shelter to long-lived, slow growing reef fishes that take many years to reach sexual maturity, such as the red roman. Such fish species are extremely vulnerable in heavily fished areas, but at present the whole Robberg MPA is open to recreational linefishing from the shore. No fishing from vessels or spearfishing is permitted, although the whole MPA is open to SCUBA diving and passage by all types of vessels. Several tourist programmes currently occur within the MPA including boat-based marine animal watching (cetaceans, seals), SCUBA diving charters and sea kayaking. The MPA is however not part of the commercial BBWW area.
Robberg Marine Protected Area was established as a Marine Protected Area in terms of Marine Living Resources Act 2000, on 2 September 1998 and proclaimed in the Government Notice by Proclamation No. 18/1998.
The MPA contains rocky coastline and boulders with two sandy beaches. The coastline is approximately 9.5 km long with 1 km of sandy shores and 8.5 km of rocky shore. Robberg MPA has offshore reefs, which provide especially important habitat for commercially fished sparids from the genus Chrysoblephus, and endemic sparids such as Red steenbras and Black musselcracker. The MPA has offshore soft sediment areas close inshore between the offshore reefs.
Although these areas are low in species diversity, they are important areas for East coast sole, Silver kob and Hake.
The Robberg MPA is a breeding area for the rare African Black Oystercatcher. Many other seabirds are known to frequent the area, including a Whitebreasted Cormorant breeding colony. Globally threatened and CITES listed sea turtles have been observed in the area, including Loggerhead, Green and Hawksbill turtles which are seen annually, and Leatherback turtles which are rare visitors. There have also been many species of marine mammals sighted and also stranded in the Robberg MPA, including various species of whales, dolphins and seals. There is also a Cape fur seal colony within the MPA.