By Jonathan Frank - Senior Manager, Marketing & Corp Relationships
In October, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced the creation of the largest marine park in the Americas, Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park. The new park extends for 297,518 square kilometers (114,872 square miles) and is a no-take zone, meaning that no fishing or other extractive activities are permitted.
With the formation of the Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park, Chile will now protect 12 percent of its marine suface ara, an increase from 4.4 percent. Oceana and National Geographic played a critical role in exposing the unique biodiversity and ecological significance of the park after a joint expedition to the Desventuradas in 2013. Based on the expedition, Oceana and National Geographic created a comprehensive scientific report on the marine life and habitat of the Desventuradas and an accompanying proposal to create a large marine park surrounding the islands, expanding beyond the area where fisherman from the Juan Fernandez archipelago have caught lobsters since 1901.
Oceana and National Geographic's goal was to protect this unique ocean habitat and help rebuild important depleted fisheries in the South Pacific Ocean, including those catching jack mackerel, while ensuring the future of the Juan Fernandez community's artisanal lobster fishery. The Juan Fernandez community supported the proposal and ultimately presented it to the Chilean government.
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