Located in the bay of Tic-Toc, on the southern coast of Chile, the new Tic-Toc Marine Park Reserve spans an area of 87,500 hectares (an area equal to Chile's capital) and is a very important feeding and nursing ground for the world's largest mammal, the blue whale. From now on, it will be only used for scientific and respectful recreational activities; all industrial activities are prohibited. Its rich waters, numerous species and fragile ecosystem will finally be protected from over fishing and aqua-culture activities.
“We are fulfilling our duty to protect and care for our natural reserves and our country,” said Chile's President Sebastián Piñera, noting that “In the same way as we have twenty percent of the land area protected, I am convinced that we should also move towards a better protection of our seas. We are not only fulfilling our international commitments, but also our duty to our children and grandchildren to care for, preserve, and pass on to them this wonderful country which God gave us.”
15 years of work by the Melimoyu Foundation; WWF-Chile; the Blue Whale Centre; and the Austral University of Chile, has produced this remarkable Marine Park. An example of what can be achieved when there are joined efforts between political authorities that respect nature and their own future; and conservation groups, who understand the constraints of political decisions, and help to choose the best possible scenario.
Along with Tic-Toc, Chile's government has also approved the designation of a Marine Coastal Protected Area further south in Aysén. Both efforts will help to consolidate an important pole of conservation in the area.