INTERNATIONAL NETWORK OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE SOUTHERN CONE SEAS
In the waters of the Patagonian Sea various pollutants are detected, such as hydrocarbons, heavy metals, persistent toxic substances (PCB and others), effluent discharges that cause eutrophication and urban solid waste. Petroleum-derived hydrocarbons affect coastal and marine areas, and may originate both in spills from the oil industry and in small chronic discharges associated with commercial shipping practices. The presence of heavy metals is mainly confined to the ports. Persistent toxic substances are found in highly industrialized coastal areas, like the Greater Buenos Aires. Urban effluents and discharges coming from farming areas provide organic waste and residues rich in phosphates and nitrates. Sewage discharges promote eutrophication in coastal waters and are also associated with human diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms. Among all kinds of solid waste from urban and industrial sources, plastic is the most worrying part, because it can persist in the sea for years and can potentially affect a variety of animal species.
The Working Group "Clean Patagonian Sea" of our Forum gathered information on the main pollution threats affecting key areas of the Patagonian Sea in order to identify priorities and opportunities for promoting mitigation activities in cooperation with relevant stakeholders.
Magellanic penguins breeding near shipping routes of oil tankers. © V. Ruoppolo