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MARCH 16, 2023

President announces creation of Mar de Pisagua Multi-Use Coastal Marine Protected Area

With 73,500 hectares (181,622 acres), it will be the first and largest marine conservation area in northern Chile. 

The care and protection of nature continue to be one of the Government’s main concerns. Today, a further step was taken in this green strategy, with the announcement of the creation of the Mar de Pisagua Multi-Use Coastal Marine Protected Area. 

The presentation was made by President Gabriel Boric, alongside Environment Minister Maisa Rojas. The Mar de Pisagua reserve will protect an extensive marine area. 

The President thanked all those who participated in the process and highlighted the importance of this declaration: “They are 73,500 hectares, which will protect the so-called Humboldtian ecoregion from Punta Gorda to Mejillones del Norte. As Minister Maisa Rojas said, as a multi-use protection area, it will make it possible to reconcile traditional productive activities such as artisanal fishing with the production of marine ecosystems.” 

The President stressed that it will be possible to protect “precisely the species that have always been extracted here in Pisagua, so that in 50 or 100 more years, when most of us are no longer here, the anchovy, the sardine and the mackerel will continue to cross this sea. Because the oceans are the main source of food for millions of human beings around the entire planet, and when we misuse them, we destroy them and we destroy ourselves.” 

“To care for the ocean is to care for life on Earth; and to care for the Pisagua sea and its people is to contribute, from the local level, to the global fight for the future of the entire planet. Our more than 3,000 km of coastline are a guarantee in the fight against the climate crisis that we have to preserve and care for,” the President concluded. 

Minister Rojas stated that “Chile has protected a little more than 40% of its exclusive economic zone in the sea, and that is a very important figure; however, there are many specific regions, such as this one, that are underrepresented; I am referring to the Humboldt ecoregion. They are very special, unique, endemic ecosystems with high productivity.” 

“This is where we have to make very important progress, and therefore when we declare this marine protected area, we take responsibility for a shortcoming that existed; it will be part of a legacy that will be left to Chile,” she stated.