Chile proposes new marine park ahead of global agreement

Sans Espana
4 June 2021

“This is an oasis in the middle of the Pacific. Much remains to be found. Every time we go there we see so many new things, ”said Carlos Camer García, a maritime security expert from Chile and part of the alliance. “We have to protect the region. There is a lot of fishing around you and there is interest future mining.”

The region has been identified by several international organizations as one of the main candidates for defense. In last year’s research , Pew highlighted 10 sites around the world that help preserve biodiversity beyond national waters – the Salas and Gomes and Nazca mountain ranges are among them.

Liz Karan, director of the High Seas Project in Pew, said the ridges also provide refuge for migratory creatures like leatherback turtles and blue whales, who travel to the area to breed. “It is not the mountains [themselves], but how important they are to the local species that live there,” he added.

Galapagos sharks swim near Salas and Gomes Ridge. Shark fins have a high commercial value in Asian countries. Due to intensive fishing, the species has been classified as “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. (Image © Enrique Sala / NGS)

When created, the region will link Chile’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) to MPAs in the east (Nazca-Desventuradas) and west (Raba Nui). While it may not be able to mitigate the effects of climate change, it will support environmental regression and address the direct impacts of human activities on marine biodiversity.

“This is a bold project that the oceans need most when faced with the pressures of climate change,” said Lisa Spear, director of the International Ocean Program at the Natural Resources Conservation Council (NRDC). “A high-level climate summit showed the true leadership of Chile, including [in regard to] the oceans.”

A high seas contract

Globally, a group of International Organizations and Agreements manage marine resources and human activities in areas beyond the EEZ of any state. These high seas areas are often intertwined, but there are no mechanisms to integrate geographic areas and fields. This makes creating MPAs a legal and logistical challenge.

Formal negotiations started in 2018 to create an agreement for the protection and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas outside the jurisdiction of the National Authority (ABNJ) – also known as the High Maritime Agreement. The agreement seeks to establish a global framework for the conservation and management of high ocean biodiversity, which represents almost two-thirds of the world’s oceans.

Read the original coverage from NVR Chile at

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021

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