Peru has created the Nazca Ridge National Reserve —the first fully marine protected area in the country— which will help, above all, protect the underwater mountain range, Environment Minister Gabriel Quijandria
"We are happy to announce the creation of the first marine, entirely marine area in Peru, which covers approximately 62,400 sq. km of Peruvian territorial sea. This is equivalent to Arequipa region's total area," he explained at a press conference.
According to the government official, this area is mainly intended to protect an undersea mountain range that occurs in this region, from 1,800 to 4,000 meters deep.
"As has been seen in the continuation of this vast underwater mountain range —which also reaches the Chilean territorial sea— it possesses important distinctive features regarding the conservation of biological biodiversity and certain ecological processes occurring in this area," he pointed out.
"As it is a national reserve, there is a provision that stipulates that some productive activities carried out in this area may continue, especially from the surface to 1,000 meters deep, placing particular emphasis on the artisanal fishing productive activity," he said.
The area also aims to provide a space to conduct deep marine research, "taking advantage of the country's capacities such as those of the Peruvian Sea Institute
, which have increased in recent years following the acquisition of the (oceanographic research vessel) BAP Carrasco, which places Peru in a very privileged position in terms of marine research capabilities."