Review of some of the last major milestones for conservation of the Patagonian Sea.

In many of these cases, the Forum and its member organizations have had an active role based on the following premise: scientific information and expert advice, together with broad participatory processes that involve all interested sectors, is the most solid way to advance towards sustainability and safety in management.


Uruguay – February 2000 – Law Nº 17.234

Creation and management of a National System of Natural Resources Protected Areas is declared of general interest.

Brazil – September 2000

Creation of the Area of Environmental Protection for Southern Right Whales.

To guarantee calm waters for these whales as the central Southern coast of Santa Catarina is their mating and breeding area


Argentina – 2001 – Provincial Law Nº 4722

Designation of the Natural Protected Area Península Valdés.

Includes marine area.


Chile – January 2003 – Decree 357

Declaration of the Marine and Coastal Protected Area “Comau Fjord”

Region X De los Lagos.


Chile – January 2004 – Decree 276

Declaration of the Marine and Coastal Protected Area “Francisco Coloane”

Sector of the Magellan Strait and adjacent fjords to the Island of Charles III. Creation of a Marine Park in the province of Magallanes, Region XII and the Chilean Antarctic.

June 2004 – New York, USA

Creation of the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea and Areas of Influence

Organizers: Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and BirdLife International (BLI). Participants: 33 representatives of 16 organizations. Relevant topics: Advance in the foundation stage, and create a basic structure sufficient to start with joint activity.

Argentina – October 20 2004 – Law Nº 25.945

Creation of “Monte León”, the first National Coastal Marine Park of Argentina

Province of Santa Cruz. After acquiring Monte León as a fiduciary with funds provided by The Patagonia Land Trust, Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina donated Monte León to the National Parks Administration.

Chile – October 2004 – Decree 134

Declaration of Choro Zapato a Marine Reserve in Putemun

Region X

Chile – December 2004 – Decree 133

Declaration of the Marine Reserve “Ostra Chilena”

Pullinque, Region X.


Chile – August 2005 – Decree 238

Regulations on Marine Parks and Marine Reserves of the General Law on Fishing and Aquaculture


Chile – June 2006 – Decree 517

Declaration of the Marine and Coastal Protected Area “Lafken-Mapu-Lahual”

Sector of the coast of Osorno, Region X De los Lagos, between Punta Tiburón and Punta Lobería, and land of fiscal beaches on the Island of Hueyelhue.


Argentina – Noviembre 2008

The Forum launches the “Synthesis of the State of Conservation of the Patagonian Sea and Areas of Influence”

Scientific information and expert advice, together with broad participatory processes that include all the interested sectors, is the most solid way to advance towards sustainability and safety in management.

Argentina – 2008

The Forum publishes the book “State of the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea and Areas of Influence”

This book is based on the following premise: Scientific information and expert advice, together with broad participatory processes that include all the interested sectors, is the most solid way to advance towards sustainability and safety in management.

Argentina – December 3 2008 – Law Nº 26.446

Creation of the Inter-jurisdictional Coastal Marine Park “Patagonia Austral”

Province of Chubut. Since2001 Fundación Patagonia Natural and Wildlife Conservation Society had been working to promote its protection.

Brasil – December 2008 – Presidential Decree Nº 6698

Designation of the jurisdictional waters of Brazil as a Sanctuary for Whales and Dolphins

The Brazilian waters are reserved in their entirety for the non-lethal use of these animals, for scientific investigation and for wildlife watching tourism.


Uruguay – July 20 2009 – Decree 337/009

Creation of the National Park “Cabo Polonio”


Uruguay – February 18, 2010 – Decree 61/010

Creation of the Protected Landscape “Laguna Rocha”

Uruguay – November 21, 2010 – Decrees 341/014; 388/014

Creation of the Area of Management for Habitats and Species “Laguna Garzón”

Mexico – December 2010 – United Nations Conference

COP16/CMP6. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The countries that adhere to the Convention on Biological Diversity agree to reach a protection of 10% of the marine surface in year 2020.


Uruguay – August 10 2011 – Decree 285/011

Creation of the Protected Coastal Marine Area “Cerro Verde and Islas de la Coronilla”


Argentina – August 12 2012 – Provincial Law Nº 3.146.

Creation of the Inter-jurisdictional Marine Park “Isla Pingüino”

Argentina – December 13 2012 – Law Nº 26.817

Creation of the Inter-jurisdictional Marine Park “Isla Makenke”

Province of Santa Cruz. Close to 70.000 hectares at sea are protected.


Argentina – May 2013

The Forum publishes the “Patagonian Sea Lighthouses. Relevant areas for the Conservation of Marine Biodiversity”

As a result of the integration of expert knowledge and scientific data, 23 priority coastal and pelagic marine areas were identified, which were called The Patagonian Sea Lighthouses. These areas require special attention in the short and medium term due to their value as natural resources and their state of conservation.

Argentina – 2013

Creation of the Protected Marine Area “Namuncurá-Burdwood Bank”

This is the first Argentine oceanic protected area. Its origin dates back to 2008, when some scientists and members of the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea provided advice to government authorities on the establishment of a permanent ban on fishing in a part of the area.

Uruguay – September 2013 – Law 19.128.

Declaration of the Jurisdictional and Exclusive Economic Zone waters as Sanctuary for Whales and Dolphins

The initiative was presented by the Organization for Whale Conservation together with a group of school children from the Maldonado and Rocha departments.


Chile – February 26, 2014

Creation of the Multiple Use Marine Coast Area “Pitipalena-Añihue”

Coast of the Raúl Marin Balmaceda district, in Region XI, Aysén. This sparked unprecedented work at a national level focused on the protection of marine ecosystems and the involvement of the communities in this type of process.

Argentina – 2014 – Sanction of Law 27037

Creation of the National System of Marine Protected Areas

In May 2013, the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea delivered a document to the Senate with suggestions that contributed to improvements in the text of the project. In June 2014 Forum members held talks with the deputies that had to analyze the project prior to its final sanction.

Argentina – 2014

National Biodiversity Strategy 2014-2020.

Commitment to create protected areas in ≥ 10% of the marine space.


Argentina – 2015 – Law 27.167

Pampa Azul Initiative

Stablished the PROMAR National Research Program.


Argentina – June 8, 2017 – Decree Nº 402

The National Parks Administration is appointed Application Authority for the National System of Marine Protected Areas

Brasil – June 16, 2017

Brazil becomes a member of the Convention on Migratory Species.

July 2017 – Argentina

Launch of the School for the administration of MPA in the Southern Cone

Promoted by the Forum organizations, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay join forces to implement, promote and coordinate training programs in MPA management, to strengthen the capacities in order to achieve effective management.

Argentina – August 2017

Expert Workshop to evaluate candidate marine areas of the SNAMP

As a result, the Forum publishes the document “It is the time of the Sea. Marine Protected Areas in the Argentine Sea for the conservation of species and environments of particular biological and scientific value”.

Chile – September 2017

4th International Congress of Protected Marine Areas (IMPAC 4)

The Forum contributed 5 proposals to the congress on the conservation of the largest oceans of the world.


Argentina – February 2018

Unprecedent expedition to the southern seas is carried out

Promoted by NatGeo, in association with the Forum, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, APN and the government of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the expedition generated a key scientific and communication contribution to the process of creation of the MPA “Yaganes”, in December 2018.

Chile – February 2018

5 new MPA are declared and contribute to protect 42% of the Chilean sea

Islas Diego Ramírez-Paso Drake and Archipiélago de Juan Fernández Marine Parks, Seno Almirantazgo and Caleta Tortel Coastal Marine Areas for Multiple Uses and Rapa Nui MPA. This is the result of cooperation among governments, local communities, scientists and civil society organizations, among which we recognized especially NatGeo PristineSeas, Oceana Chile, WCS Chile and Pew Environment, member organizations of the Forum that have been contributing in different regions for this milestone to happen.

Argentina and Chile – April 2018

Bi-oceanic Park announced in Argentina and Chile.

Declarations of the governments of Chile and Argentina on the regional articulation of two Marine Protected Areas (Marine Park Is. Diego Ramírez – Paso Drake and Yaganes) in the southern seas. These agreements will contribute to the initiative “An integrated effort for the conservation of the biodiversity of the Patagonian Sea” that the Forum promotes, with support from Oceans5, to ensure an expanded and effective MPA system in both countries.

Argentina – July 2018

Campaign on the risks of installing salmon farming in the Beagle Channel

Forum organizations launch a position on the environmental, health, social and economic impacts that the activity could cause. Subsequently, the project has been taken off the agenda of the government of Tierra del Fuego in February 2019 as a result of the mobilization of various actors.

Argentina – September 2018

Technical Workshop on the implementation of National Marine Protected Areas in the Argentinean Sea

More than 40 experts analyze the challenges of the effective Marine Protected Areas of the Argentine Sea.

Chile – September 2018

Workshop “Developing guidelines for the creation and management of Marine Protected Areas in Chile”.

Organizations of the civil society of Chile articulate during two days in the framework of the Workshop to draw up guidelines.

Argentina – December 2018

Creation of the MPA “Yaganes” and “Namuncurá / Banco Burdwood II”

The process, promoted by the Forum since its inception, achieves its results by law voted by both Chambers of the National Congress. The new MPA triples the Argentine marine protected area, which thus marks the greatest advance in its history towards the conservation of its sea.


Canal Beagle – April 2019

Regional statement: “Beagle Channel free from salmon farming”

In the context of the salmon industry’s plans to expand into the Beagle Channel -on the Southern end of the Patagonian Sea-, the organizations that comprise the Forum expressed their outright rejection towards the installation of salmon farms in the area.

Perú – October 2019

Argentina, Chile and Uruguay reaffirmed their commitment to develop joint abilities for an effective management of Marine Protected Areas.

Government representatives of all three countries and the civil society signed a declaration of intention, stating they would continue working together in order to improve the skills of those responsible for managing MPAs, and that they would continue on promoting networking and the regional approach proposed by the School for Marine Protected Areas’ Managers.


Chile – February 2020

Progress toward the protection of Guafo Island

The marvellous cultural and natural features of Guafo Island led a group of ten indigenous communities of Chiloé to develop the initiative “Wuafo Wapi: ancient territory, worthy of conservation”. This initiative aims for the creation of a Marine Coastal Area for Indigenous Peoples (ECMPO, by its initials in Spanish) in Guafo. Such a proposal was considered admissible by SUBPESCA at the beginning of 2020.

August 2020

We finished the research into 119 vertebrate species of the Patagonian Sea.

We presented the final reports on the assessment of the conservation status of vertebrate species of the Patagonian Sea, following the IUCN’s Red List. This contribution provides us with a baseline of 119 classifications, among which are marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles, sharks, rays and bony fish. This contribution will be a key piece to evaluate the effectiveness in management and conservation of the regional marine biodiversity, and to promote the joining of efforts of the different countries.


June 2021

Law against salmon farming.

Argentina becomes the first country to prohibit the entry of salmon farming by law. The province of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands approves the law that prohibits “the cultivation and production of salmonids in jurisdictional waters of the province” in order to “ensure the protection, preservation and safeguarding of natural resources, genetic resources and lake and marine ecosystems”.

July 2021

Seismic: first public hearing

The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Argentina listens to the opinions of more than 500 people on the environmental impact study of the project to search for hydrocarbons (seismic prospecting) in the North Argentine Basin of the Continental Shelf, 300km from Mar del Plata.

August 2021

Publications: Marine Protected Areas of the Patagonian Sea.

The series of documents “Marine protected areas of the Patagonian Sea: challenges and opportunities” was published. It seeks to improve the coverage of all marine biodiversity.

The Forum offers its collaboration to strengthen the set of marine protected areas in Chile and Argentina.

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