The views from Foca Island. Image Credit: Courtesy of Nature & Culture International

Environment Peru22. May 2024

Marine Conservation Milestone: New Protected Area

The Peruvian government has approved the creation of a new marine protected area (MPA) that safeguards the delicate tapestry of Peru’s marine ecosystem.

“We have learned and understand that one of the most important challenges to reduce the gap in marine conservation in the country is to strengthen the alliance with the communities that inhabit the northern coast of Peru,” said Mónica Alzamora during her tenure as Coordinator of the Coastal-Marine Program. 

Following more than a decade of concerted efforts, local governments and coastal communities have joined forces to protect an essential marine sanctuary, leading to the creation of the Mar Tropical de Grau National Reserve, which spans an impressive 115,764 hectares along the coast of Piura, in northern Peru. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has stated that this new MPA protects one of the world’s most critical areas for preserving marine biodiversity. Indeed, in this part of the Pacific Ocean, two large marine ecosystems meet, one dominated by the cold waters of the Humboldt Current and the other by the warm waters of the Southern Equatorial Current. The rare Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti), the Pacific seahorse (Hippocampus ingens), the endangered hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran), all species of Pacific marine turtles, as well as hundreds of species of fish and corals call this ecosystem home.

Nature and Culture

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