The African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme

The African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme



In 2000, at the dawn of the new millennium, a living population of coelacanths was found off Sodwana Bay and the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (ACEP) was born. The discovery of this enigmatic fish provided yet another chapter to an amazing South African story that had played out on the world stage between 1938 and 1952. Initiated by the South African Department of Science & Technology (DST), ACEP is now a major multi-disciplinary east coast research programme funded primarily by the DST but using research equipment and platforms from numerous research agencies including the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA – Oceans & Coasts), Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South African Environmental Observation Network (NRF-SAEON) and NRF-SAIAB. ACEP is managed by the National Research Foundation through NRF-SAIAB, which is one of its National Facilities. ACEP aims to ensure that South Africa has in-depth knowledge of our east coast marine and coastal environment and its resources, to ensure sustainable development while benefitting its citizens. This can only be done by undertaking the required research and producing a representative generation of future marine scientists and resource managers which reflects the diverse demography of our country.


Belem statement areas
Climate Variability
Emerging Pollutants
Ocean Observation
Ocean Resources
Ocean Technology
Time frame
2000 - n/a


South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity