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The marine environment of the Coquimbo Region is defined by two main currents; the Humboldt current brings cold water from the south and the nutrient laden Gunther current that flows south from the equator.  Southern winds push back the cold surface water allowing the nutrient rich water to surface and nourish an abundant and diverse marine environment. The intemareal zone is characterised by rocky expanses covered by small seaweed of varied texture and colours.  In the submareal zone  there are abalones and sea urchins together with a complex fish community.  Off the long sandy beaches inhabited by sand fleas and seagulls can be found banks of molluscs in the breakers.








Further out are the clams, northern scallops and flounder before reaching the open sea and the most important commercial species schools of pelagic fish such as the Spanish sardines and mackerels..  Due to this maritime wealth, the Region of Coquimbo is placed between third and sixth nationally in terms of extraction, cultivation and elaboration of fish resources.  More than six million tons of fish and shellfish are captured each year, of which 75% is used in the industrial sector in the production of tinned products, fish flour and frozen fish. 





 Local fishing is largely dedicated to fresh consumption and divers who extract "machas" and "locos".  Fishermen around the coast harvest the shellfish and collect the seaweed both for direct consumption and for export.  Aguaculture is a growing field in the Coquimbo region, the so called "Blue Revolution"  has brought scientific and research studies especially lead by the Catholic University of the North.
For the visitor to the region there are many excellent choices of fish and shellfish restaurants, the local gastronomy offers many and varied dishes based on the local fish delicacies.











Among the marine mammals found in the Coquimbo Region, the sea lion is the most commonly seen, however, sea otters, the southern most colony of bottlenose dolphins and occasional whales are also found.  A great variety of marine birds are present in the region, including various species of gulls and the Humboldt Penguin which is protected in the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve which can be visited on a tour to the Damas Island. 



For Information: ventas@ingservtur.cl

Reservations: reservas@ingservtur.cl


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