Chile Creates Latin America’s Largest Marine Park

Cunningham's triplefin off the coast of Chile
Cunningham's triplefin off the coast of Chile

In August, Chile broadened the protected sea zones under its watch to create a marine park that covers an area of 300,000 square kilometers, the largest such reserve in Latin America.

Fishing and mineral extraction will now be banned from this area, which surrounds the Desventuradas islands in the Pacific Ocean.

"At a time when ocean species suffer from exploitation, pollution and phenomena such as climate change, protection of these islands is a big step for the seas of Chile and the world," said Liesbeth van der Meer, the executive director of the marine conservation organization Oceana.

The proposal to create the Nazca-Desventuradas marine park took shape after an expedition made there by National Geographic magazine and Oceana in February 2013. Scientists found a unique ecosystem with no sign of human contact. The area included kelp forests, enormous tuna, deep-sea sharks, fragile corals and lobsters more than a meter long that weighed up to 8 kilograms.

A scientific report on the biodiversity of Desventuradas was developed, along with a proposal for the establishment of a large marine park. Oceana, the NGO, stresses that the Desventuradas islands, along with the Juan Fernandez islands, have the largest number of unique marine species in the world.

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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