juan fernandez

Chile Becomes First Country in World to Protect All Seamounts from Devastating Bottom Trawling!

Posted Thu, Dec 27, 2012 by Justine Sullivan to bottom trawling, bycatch, chile, corals, destruction, fishing, fishing quotas, juan fernandez, quota, quotas, seamounts

Coral formations in Juan Fernandez archipelago lie among Chilean seamounts

As you enjoy those last holiday cookies before the New Year comes with its resolutions, we’d love to share one final present for you to enjoy: we are thrilled to announce that last week, the country of Chile became the first in the world to protect all of its seamounts from the devastating effects of bottom trawling! Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless and actor and Oceana board member Ted Danson collaborated in an article published by the Huffington Post to share this excellent news with the world.


Seamounts are underwater mountain ranges that are home to an unbelievable array of sea creatures fed by the nutrient-rich water from the deep upwells. The destructive practice of bottom trawling, where large, heavy nets weighing as much as several tons each effectively clear-cut everything living on the seafloor,  causes more direct and avoidable damage to the ocean floor and its creatures than any other human activity in the world.  Although some of Chile’s seamounts have already been damaged or destroyed by the country’s fishing fleet, the December 20 decision closes any further trawling to Chile’s 118 seamounts until scientists have assessed these and other underwater ecosystems off the coast of Chile.


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What Oceana is Helping to Protect in Chile

Posted Wed, Dec 5, 2012 by admin to alexander selkirk, chile, juan fernandez

After the Chilean senate voted last month to ban bottom trawling on all 118 of its seamounts, after years of advocacy by Oceana, we thought it was an appropriate time to remind our supporters just what we've been fighting to protect.

Above is video shot by Oceana in 2011 off of the uninhabited Alexander Selkirk Island in the remote Juan Fernandez Island chain 400 miles off of Chile. The island, named for an 18th century shipwreck survivor who likely inspired Robinson Crusoe, is part of a volcanic archipelago surrounded by seamounts, or underwater mountain ranges that support a staggering variety of marine life.

Until now the Juan Fernandez archipelago was open to bottom trawling, an extremely destructive method of fishing which reduces the sort of complex habitat seen in this video to the appearance of "ploughed fields" according to a recent study in the journal Nature.

Oceana, along with our partners at National Geographic, have made a number of visits to the area in recent years to document this previously unseen abundance of life, and was instrumental in Chile's recent vote to close these wonders to the ravages of bottom trawling.

Learn more about these distant marvels and about Oceana's work in South America.


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Video: Chile’s Underwater Trove

Posted Mon, Aug 8, 2011 by Emily Fisher to alexander selkirk, chile, juan fernandez, video

Earlier this year, Oceana Chile sailed to far-flung Alexander Selkirk Island, named for the Scottish sailor who spent four years as a castaway on the island, probably inspiring the story of Robinson Crusoe.

The island is one of three that comprise the Juan Fernández Archipelago, which sits more than 400 miles off the coast of Chile.

Check out the stunning footage they came back with:

 

As you can see, the expedition team found a surprising abundance and diversity of species around the island, including lobsters and many kinds of fish. While the archipelago has been compared to the Galápagos Islands for its rich biodiversity, it lacks conservation measures against destructive fishing. As a result, Oceana has been working for several years with the fishing communities of Juan Fernández to protect their exceptional marine resources.


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