Parque Marino Nazca-Desventuradas


Established: 2016

Location: The region around a grouping of mall islands located 850 kilometres (530 mi) off the coast of Chile, northwest of Santiago in the Pacific Ocean.
Size: 297,000 km2 or 115,000 mi2
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Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park, constitutes about eight percent of the ocean areas worldwide that have been declared off-limits to fishing and governed by no-take protections. The Pac-Man-shaped marine protected area (MPA) encompasses the ocean around San Ambrosio and San Felix islands. Together, they're known as the Desventuradas (or Unfortunate) Islands, which are part of the underwater Nazca Ridge, which runs southwest from Peru to Easter Island.

These islands had been subject to a modest amount of fishing, mainly for swordfish, before the creation of the new park and fishing will be allowed to continue in an unprotected wedge-shaped area that gives the new MPA its distinctive shape. In addition, a small lobster fishery, which has been certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, an international organization, will continue in a small area outside of the reserve.

Due to its isolation from the mainland—it takes a two-day boat ride from Chile’s coast to get there—much of Desventuradas’ marine life is endemic, or found nowhere else in the world.