Photo: courtesy Yuri Hooker
"A healthy ocean fuels sustainable businesses and a strong economy in industries such as seafood, tourism, pharmaceuticals and shipping. Several studies estimate the total economic value of the ocean to exceed $20 billion per year. Pollution, overfishing and habitat degradation diminish that value"
PERU'S TROPICAL SEA ECO REGION
The Tropical Eastern Pacific is one of the twelve marine realms that cover the shallow oceans of the world. This realm extends along the Pacific Coast of the Americas, from the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula in the north to northern Peru in the south. It is within this area that Peru's tropical sea lies.
Historically, there has been little scientific research conducted in this area. Fortunately, for the past ten years the Marine Biology Laboratory of Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) has been studying this region and has made significant discoveries. Because of its ecological value and biological diversity, scientists have proposed to designate this Eco Region as a protected zone. Detailed studies and technical reports have been presented but no official decision to move this proposal forward has been made yet.
The proposed protected area encompasses four distinct locations: El Nuro, Arrecifes de Punta Sal, Isla Foca, and Banco de Mancora. This entire region contains high biodiversity and endemism due to two major oceanographic features: upwelling and the convergence of two major ocean currents, the cold Peru Current and the warm North Equatorial Current. The area is teaming with marine life.
Overfishing and development are threatening this entire area. To prevent further degradation of the natural environment immediate action is required. Official designation of this region as a protected area will ensure the health and well being of the marine communities found in the tropical sea of Peru. Current conservation efforts continue. A small, but dedicated team of marine researchers of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia continue studying the region and making new discoveries with the hope of bringing attention and awareness for the protection of the area. Resources and funding are needed to conduct deep water studies.
Follow EGS will collaborate with the necessary agencies including Universidad Peruana Cayetano Herredia-CIDIS to pursue official conservation designation of this area and will focus on bringing international attention and support to achieve this objective. The area has been recently nominated by Follow EGS as a Sylvia Earle’s Hope Spot.
Photo: courtesy Yuri Hooker Photo: courtesy Yuri Hooker
The tropical sea of Peru includes the northern coastal region of the country shown in red. Unlike the rest of the country's cooler ocean waters, this area is characterized by warmer waters that allow the presence of tropical species of fish, and invertebrates.