Conservation of the Patagonian Sea

Humpback whales in the Chilean Patagonia. Photo by Adrian Arias

Oceans 5 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 commercial squid fisheries, 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, there are critical habitats to protect and there is a strong need for effective MPA management and finance.

The Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea is 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. 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.