The Council of Ministers for Sustainability and Climate Change today approved the creation of the "Mar de Pisagua" Multiple Use Coastal Marine Protected Area (73 000 ha) and the Cochamó Valley Nature Sanctuary (11 400 ha).
Chile Rejects Dominga Mining Project Near Biodiversity Hotspot
The special protection covers an area of approximately 73 000 hectares of the marine area off the coast of Pisagua located in the commune of Huara, north of Iquique.
The Chilean government's decree aims to protect local species and the seabed, keeping industrial fishing companies out. However, it aims to protect traditional artisanal fishing, which must be managed sustainably.
The Ministry of the Environment welcomed the action on social networks, noting that "a demand deeply felt by the community is now a reality."
Likewise, the director of Oceana Chile, Liz van der Meer said: "We are very happy about this measure, and we salute the work of the government, the activists and the scientific work of the University of Tarapacá, and we will continue to support so that this place continues to be one of the most beautiful in northern Chile."
Also approved was the creation of the Cochamó Valley Nature Sanctuary in northern Patagonia, located in the Los Lagos Region, with a protected area of almost 11 400 hectares.
In this regard, the Minister of the Environment, Maisa Rojas, said that "the Cochamó Valley is home to one of the most important water reserves in the world (...) but also a climatic refuge that provides ecosystem services that generate well-being for people."
Regarding the Pisagua Sea, the Minister said, "It is an area of high productivity and is key for conservation and the development of sustainable economic activities, such as artisanal fishing and tourism."
Rojas said this is part of the Chilean government's drive to meet its commitment to protecting one million hectares by 2030.