Strait of Magellan Marine Reserves

Strait of Magellan Marine Reserves

Eduardo Hernandez Cabo Froward Magallanes
Grantee Rewilding Chile
Grant Amount $450,000
Duration Three Years

Oceans 5 supports Rewilding Chile to develop a three-year strategy focusing on marine park creation and develop an activist campaign to remove salmon concessions of protected waters in coordination with other Chilean non-profits.

The end of the world marks the point of convergence of large ocean currents, generating an explosion of life and exceptional natural dynamics. Chilean Patagonia encompasses one of the most extensive fjord regions of the world, with a coastline of over 80,000 km, equivalent to twice the circumference of the Earth. This mega-estuarine system, where oceanic waters mix with freshwaters, supports key ecosystem services such as climate regulation, carbon storage, food provisioning, and cultural diversity heritage. In the UN decade of restoration, we are more committed than ever to protecting primary ecosystems & climate corridors, key for global resilience.

Chile is recognized worldwide for the protection of its marine waters, with 42% of the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) protected, of which 24% corresponds to marine parks (no take-zones). However, marine conservation is concentrated around offshore islands, and in the country's central region, with less than 1% of territorial coastal waters (coastline, channels, fjords, and bays) protected in Patagonia. The few existing marine parks have no management plans or long-term vigilance and monitoring efforts.

Salmon farming has spread rapidly through the Patagonian Sea, even inside the waters of national parks and reserves. There are 1,500 concessions, of which 415 operate inside protected waters. Most species caught by industrial fishing are overfished or depleted (cod, hake, and sea bass).

Chilean Patagonia is one of the world's least studied marine ecosystems, and many species have not been described. Its enormous extension and remoteness keep it far from exploration studies and monitoring.

Rewilding Chile's long-term vision is to create an effective, equitably distributed, and ecologically coherent network of no-take marine zones in the Route of Parks of Chilean Patagonia, to increase from less than 1% to 10% the protection of coastal and shelf ecosystems while augmenting from 24.7% to 26.5% the no-take area surface in Chile's EEZ.