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Image: Mongabay / FIS

Protection of 54% of the Panamanian sea, the first step to create a corridor of marine protected areas in the Caribbean | INTERVIEW

Click on the flag for more information about Panama PANAMA
Thursday, March 23, 2023, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

The following is an excerpt from an article published by Mongabay:

With the expansion of the Banco Volcán marine protected area in the Caribbean, Panama began to protect more than half of its maritime territory.

Source: Mongabay / Wiki / FIS

The use of satellite technologies will be key in monitoring this area that covers 93,000 square kilometers and connects with the Seeflower Biosphere Reserve.

During the last annual Our Ocean conference —an initiative of the United States Department of State that was born in 2014, for countries to support marine conservation by committing to concrete actions— Panama announced the expansion of the Banco Volcán Managed Resources Area. With the expansion of this marine protected area located in the Caribbean, the country started to protect 54.33% of its Exclusive Economic Zone.

Photo above: The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute generated the scientific information for the creation and expansion of the Banco Volcán Managed Resources Area. Source: STRI. Photo 2: Caribbean reef landscape. Source- The Ocean Agency: XL Catlin Seaview Surve -->

Banco Volcán, initially 14,000 square kilometers and currently 93,000, covers four submarine ridges, deep plains, and geological formations linked to a high biodiversity that includes highly migratory and endangered species, as well as fish and invertebrates of high commercial value. such as the Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus). The expansion of this protected area also seeks to safeguard the connectivity of the migratory routes of oceanic and marine-coastal species that move through the seas of Jamaica, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Mongabay Latam spoke with marine biologist Juan Maté Touriño, Manager for Scientific Affairs and Operations at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), about the benefits that protecting this vast area of the Panamanian Caribbean will bring and the challenges to monitor and monitor the area. STRI, which generated the scientific information for the creation and expansion of the Banco Volcán Managed Resources Area, was also behind the creation and expansion of the Cordillera de Coiba Managed Resources Area, in the Pacific, of the Coiba National Park and the Special Zone of Marine-Coastal Management to the Las Perlas Archipelago.

What is the importance of having expanded the Banco Volcán marine protected area?

"Expanded Volcano Bank protects submarine mountain ranges that have been identified by the United Nations as important areas of biodiversity, species recruitment, breeding and feeding areas."

The mountain structure is a geological structure thousands of years old and, like mountain ranges on earth, they are the roads, so to speak, that marine organisms use to move. In the Pacific, we have called these underwater highways migravías. We have not yet coined that name for the Caribbean, but they have the same function.

What species use them?

"There are countless important species of sharks that are in danger of extinction, whales, pelagic and highly migratory species that are in waters far from the coast. There is also benthic fauna, which sticks to the bottom, and the only chance it has to move is when they reproduce and their eggs and gametes go out into the water and disperse." (keep going...)

Author: Michelle Carrere | Read the full article by clicking the link here (only available in Spanish)

Por Guillermo Rafael Jacob


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