AUSTRAL MARINE ECOLOGIES
Austral Marine Ecologies © Dominique Bruneau S. for LOFscapes based on images from: Waitt Expedition with National Geographic’s Pristine Seas in Cape Horn. Chile. In https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrYN5GtDIL8&t=1947s • image: “Coordenadas de la hazana” (Coordinates of the feat”) in Parques marinos de Chile In <https://www.pressreader.com/chile/national-geographic-chile/20170927/282428464379631 • Cartographic data GIS (Shapes): SNASPE, Regions •
This week’s infographic represents the riches and dynamics of marine flora and fauna systems, both on the surface and underwater based on the last expedition of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas Program together with the Waitt foundation. The Program was done in January and February of 2017 (1) in the seas of the Magallanes Region and in the framework of the latest additions of marine protected areas, including the Cape Horn Marine Park, which covers 140,000 km2 (2).
This week’s Infographic presents the richness and the dynamics of the marine flora and fauna systems, both on the surface and underwater. The representation is based on the last expedition of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas Program (1) in the seas of the Magallanes Region and in the framework of the last addition of marine protected areas within which is the Cape Horn Marine Park of 140,000 km2 (2). There are no current scientific records of the southern seas to some extent because of its remoteness and difficult access. Although these qualities have acted in favor of the preservation of marine habitats, they have also meant that the complex ecosystems of the area have been largely unstudied and are unknown for the majority of the population. For all of these reasons, the creation of protected areas was an important step for Chile.
(1) Pristine Seas, Expeditions: Cape Horn, National Geographic (28.05.2018) < https://www.nationalgeographic.org/expeditions/cape-horn/ >
(2) Enric Sala and Alex Muñoz, Parques marinos de Chile, (Marine Parks of Chile) National Geographic (27.09.2017) <https://www.pressreader.com/chile/national-geographic-chile/20170927/282428464379631>
The expedition begins with a visit to Carlos III Island, where the sighting of humpback whales was most noteworthy (this area is within the limits of the Francisco Coloane Marine Park). It continued through the Beagle Channel to reach Cape Horn, where the macro-algae forests were explored. Finally, they travelled through the Diego Ramírez Islands, which are characterized by having no introduced species. Another interesting aspect is that the ecosystems on the land surface, in the shallow water and in the deep water are highly connected.
The increased number of nesting birds, species of manta rays never before photographed, species of crustaceans and fish not previously described in this area and/or notably abundant were all in sharp contrast with marine areas overexploited by salmon farming and industrial fishing in the fjords of Chile farther north. How can we get to know this place without harming it, and what can we learn from these glimpses of pristine nature that still exist?