Saturday, March 24, 2018

This Strait of Magellan sector, where the waters of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans converge, stretches from Segunda Angostura to Fuerte Bulnes in Chile. There are two Magellanic penguin colonies on its shores. The strait is important for the conservation of marine mammals resident in the area and is a potential migratory path for the southern right whale and other species.


Conservation Status

Least Concern


Chilean Territorial Sea, Chilean Antarctica and Magellan Region (Región de Magallanes y Antártica Chilena), Provinces of Tierra del Fuego and Magallanes. Comunas of Punta Arenas, Porvenir, Primavera and San Gregorio.

Biogeographical Region

Temperate seas of South America. Magellanic Province. Ecoregion: Channels and Fjords of southern Chile.


2.920 km2

Types of Habitats

The coasts of the strait features bays, islands and rocky cliffs. The brown algae beds (Macrocystis pyrifera and Lessonia nigrescens) are important habitats for benthic invertebrates.

Species Richness

Ten marine mammal species; 25 waterfowl and seabird species.

Main uses

Intensive artisanal fishing. Commercial fishing and tourism.  As a navigation route the strait is very important, both commercially and strategically.


Chronic contamination related to maritime traffic (fuels, ballast waters). Oil spills. Contamination from clandestine coastal dumps.  Risk of vessels colliding with cetaceans.

Management - Main Government Bodies

Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Dirección General del Territorio Marítimo y Marina Mercante (DIRECTEMAR), Subsecretaría de Pesca (SUBPESCA), Servicio Nacional de Pesca (SERNAPESCA), Gobernaciones de las Provincias de Magallanes y Tierra del Fuego, Municipalidad de Punta Arenas, CONAF (administration of Los Pingüinos Natural Monument).

Level of Protection

There are no marine protected areas.


Commersonís Dolphin © Ricardo Muza

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