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Encroaching Development Threatens South American Coasts

Environment  (tags: south america, marine, conservation, science, animals, Humboldt penguin, endangered species, science, conservation, the nature conservancy, environment, fisheries, pollution, urban development, resource extraction, mining, timber harvesting )

- 4050 days ago -
A new stuffy finds that marine ecosystems in South America are severely threatened by human development across the continent, which in some cases, results in raw sewage being dumped directly into the ocean.


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Holly Troubetzkoy (167)
Tuesday August 21, 2007, 12:00 pm
David and cal thanks for drawing my attention to this article.
increased human use and a dearth of marine protected areas could have serious impacts on marine life throughout the region — including the already-threatened Humboldt Penguin, which relies for survival on the anchovy-laden waters off South America's Pacific coast.

Increased Human Use is the Culprit
“Without exception, South America's coastal and marine habitats are underprotected and increasingly subjected to the impacts of human use,” says Anthony Chatwin, the director of The Nature Conservancy’s South America marine program and editor of the new report, entitled "Priorities for Coastal and Marine Conservation in South America."

“Unsustainable fishing practices will eventually deplete local resources," Chatwin adds. "These practices will cause cascading environmental effects such as limiting food availability for other marine organisms. They'll also limit supply and cause increases in price for the consumer.”

As the fishing industry has increased along the coast, the Humboldt Penguin population has been cut nearly in half — falling from 20,000 in the early 1980s to around 13,000 today. In fact, the Humboldt Penguin’s numbers have dropped so precipitously and the threats it faces have become so numerous, that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering it for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

But humans also stand to suffer from further coastal degradation. "A significant portion of the South American population depends on coastal and marine resources for their subsistence,” Chatwin notes.

Doubling Protected Areas to Face Myriad Threats
The Conservancy is working with government organizations and private-sector partners in six South American countries to execute coastal and marine conservation planning and identify priority areas for conservation in each country.

So far, these groups have identified more than 96 million acres of potential new coastal and marine protected areas throughout South America. If implemented, these protected areas would more than double the coastal and marine protected areas on the continent.


Jaclin S (230)
Tuesday August 21, 2007, 1:08 pm
Noted. Thanx Cal.
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