Caleta Tortel, Chile — As a way of pushing the creation of a Coastal Marine Protected Area for Multiple Purposes (AMCP-MU in Spanish) in Caleta Tortel, the Environment Regional Ministerial Secretariat of Aysén invited residents of the commune to attend a workshop on the benefits of cnserving this pristine area of Patagonia.
“There are very few places like Caleta Tortel in the world, which is why, from an environmental standpoint, it’s very important that we move towards the conservation of this Patagonian area. Our job is to provide the technical information that residents and authorities need to be able to create an AMCP-MU”, said Susana Figueroa, Environment regional ministerial secretary of Aysén.
A Marine Conservation Day was organized at Caleta Tortel, which included the workshop. Municipal authorities and the community’s primary citizen organizations participated in the event.
“Tortel decided to drive sustainable activities as a central core of development, in order to set an example for Patagonia and the rest of the country,” said the mayor of Caleta Tortel, Bernardo López.
It should be noted that two years ago, Oceana and local organizations held the “Tortel Free from Salmon Farming” campaign, which blocked the approval of concessions that were aiming to install facilities in the area.
“This is the only area of Aysén that is salmon-farming free. This is where a unique phenomenon occurs, in which glacier and estuary waters from the Baker River converge to produce an ecosystem rich in biodiversity; it’s a natural lab,” stated Liesbeth van der Meer, Executive Director of Oceana Chile. “The expansion of the salmon-farming industry throughout southern Chile is having serious consequences on the fiords due to the waste it produces. This is why it is such a great step forward for Tortel to close its doors on this industry, and the commune is already working to protect its marine area”.
In addition, Oceana highlighted that the initiative to create an AMCP-MU originated from the residents of Caleta Tortel, who have been driving the area’s sustainable development. The community will work with the municipality and the Ministry of Environment to create the protected area.