Bárbara Galletti and Vernazzani Muñoz

Alfaguara Project, Marine Conservation through Marine Ecotourism, Chile

Blue whale surfacing near Puñihuil beach.

Barbara Galletti (CCC) and Jose Aviles (local skipper) recording blue whale vocalizations with a hydrophone adapted specially for this purpose.

Whale sanctuary. Photo by Benjamin Witte.

Alfaguara research vessel being truck to the sea in Puñihuil beach. Photo credit Elsa Cabrera.

An individual photo-id of a blue whale from northwestern Chiloé that clearly shows some of the skin lesions probably associated to pollutants generated by industrial activities, such as salmon farming. Phot credit Wlsa Cabrera.

Town/RegionCountryCategoriesDate
PuñihuilChileCentral and Latin America, Ecotourism, Marine11 Oct 2006

The northwestern of Isla de Chiloé has a great diversity of marine fauna, including blue, sei and humpback whales; Chilean and Peales dolphins; sea lions, marine otters, and Magellan and Humboldt penguins.

Nevertheless, this relatively undisturbed area faces different threats, like urban development, habitat degradation, land and marine pollution.

The Alfaguara project seeks to effectively combine long term research, educational and capacity building programs with the objective of developing innovative marine conservation proposals oriented to safeguard the rich biodiversity of the area and guarantee the sustainable development of the communities involved.

Its new stage “Marine Conservation through Marine Ecotourism” is the result of three years of cooperative work with local communities and it reflects the concerns and solutions of people that have been dependant all their lives in the ocean and that had experience first hand the results of irrational exploitation of nature.

Responsible marine ecotourism requires careful planning, management and scientific monitoring to guarantee the conservation of the area and generate long term benefits for the community. Through the Alfaguara Project, we will work closely with the community to strengthen capacity building and establish clear objectives that can be implemented in the near future through appropriate management actions.

The activities planned for the period 2006-2007 includes cetacean research program; workshops on marine ecotourism; first hand experience exchange with tourist operators of Argentina; recreational carrying capacity study around the Puñihuil Island for penguin tourism; design of Land-Use Proposal of the Puñihuil Beach; and design of a Sustainable Community Based Management Plan.

Thus, Alfaguara Project: Marine Conservation trough Marine Ecotourism starts a new experience in Chile that looks for an innovative alternative to ensure marine conservation, that could be replicated along the country and implemented has a community based model in future management plans for marine protected areas in Chile.

To read about Barbara's previous project http://www.ruffordsmallgrants.org/rsg/Projects/BarbaraGalletti or for further information contact barbara@ccc-chile.org

Project Updates

Read about the latest progress of this project in the report below.

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June 200722 KB
August 200721.5 KB
May 200825 KB
June 200822.5 KB
September 200823 KB
November 201027.5 KB
Project Reports

Read about the latest progress of this project in the reports below.

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January - June 20061.52 MB
August - December 20061.07 MB
January - June 2007988.77 KB
Project News

Read about the progress of the project through press releases and articles below.

File DownloadSize
Recent humpback whale sightings off Isla de Chiloe, 2006-2008274.63 KB
Recommendations for Whale Watching Guidelines in the Blue Whale Feeding Area of Southern Chile253.04 KB
Skin lesions on blue whales off southern Chile Possible Conservation implications208.4 KB
Status of blue whales off Isla de Chiloe, Chile, during 2007 field season141.13 KB
1st press release - Campaign Chile 2008 A Whale Sanctuary88 KB
2nd press release - Campaign Chile 2008, A Whale Sanctuary32.5 KB
1st press release - Centro de Conservacion Cetacea57 KB
2nd press release - Centro de Conservacion Cetacea150.5 KB
J. Cetacean Res. Manage. 12(3) 353–360, 2012672.37 KB
Final Report

Read about the activities undertaken and findings of this project in the final reports a below.

File DownloadSize
Detailed Final Report1.03 MB
Project Summary122.16 KB
Annual Report 20121.28 MB

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