Dedicated to protecting the world’s five oceans.

Conservation of the Patagonian Sea

Oceans5 supports the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea and Areas of Influence to ensure an effectively managed system of regional marine protected areas in Argentina and Chile.

The Patagonian Sea comprises a vast area around the Southern Cone, it is uniquely populated by a diversity of wildlife and charismatic megafauna, from right and blue whales to several species of albatrosses and penguins, sea lions and elephant seals. The iconic areas include, in the Atlantic, an extended continental shelf and slope that sustains a large commercial squid fisheries spotted from satellites, and, in the Pacific, the extraordinary Chilean fiords, threatened by aquaculture of introduced salmon species. The Patagonian Sea is not pristine. Extinctions have not yet been recorded, but threats to biodiversity have been well-identified. Argentina and Chile have increased their marine protected area (MPA) coverage over the last few decades. Yet, most of these MPAs are still coastal and small. Both countries are protecting less than 4 percent of their exclusive economic zones, still far from Aichi targets of 10 percent of their waters by 2020.

The Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea represents an alliance of conservation NGOs that builds synergy among organizations to tackle collaborative efforts with scientists, the Government, and relevant stakeholders. The Forum aspires to expand the area of marine habitat being protected and effectively managed. At the end of this project new MPAs will be created, migration corridors will be identified and protected, and present fisheries management areas will be considered as potential MPAs for biodiversity protection. By 2019, the total area under protection in the region will be doubled. A range of demonstration projects and activities will be undertaken in Chile and Argentina. Oceans5 will help the Forum to establish capacity development initiatives, guidelines for national strategies on MPA creation, governance and financing and designation of new areas in Chile and Argentina after sound, participative processes that ensure cooperation from key stakeholders. We expect that this project will enhance the resilience of the systems against climate change pressures.

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Humpback whales in the Chilean Patagonia. Photo by Adrian Arias

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