Dr. Andrea Piñones will use modeling tools that will allow long-term projections of the areas most vulnerable to future changes in environmental conditions.

Researchers César Cárdenas and Andrea Piñones in the INACH facility.

For the past five years, Chile and Argentina have been working together on a proposal for Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the Antarctic Peninsula and south of the Scotia Arc. This proposal will be presented to the Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). Dr. Andrea Piñones, a scientist of the Research Center Dynamics of High Latitude Marine Ecosystems (IDEAL), was invited to collaborate in the binational document.

To date, both Chile and Argentina have collected data and information on the priority areas for conservation in the white continent. These are already being analyzed. A proposal is expected to be submitted in 2017.

“The idea is to complement what has been done with other approaches. Areas may change given future scenarios of climate change. As a result, it is necessary to incorporate not only the current scenarios, but also future scenarios,” said César Cárdenas, a scientific researcher at the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) and Chilean representative to the CCAMLR scientific committee.

The Antarctic Peninsula is an area of great importance. It has been severely altered through climate change. In addition, it is the sector of the White continent that accumulates more human activity (scientific activity, tourism, and resource extraction).

“We will use an approach based on an ocean circulation model in conjunction with a model that describes the development of Antarctic krill,” explained Dr. Andrea Piñones. She added, “With these tools, we will be able to integrate observations and historical simulations that, moreover, allow us to project which sectors of the Antarctic Peninsula, in the long-term, will be most vulnerable given future changes in environmental conditions.”

During this year, Chile and Argentina will present a document proposing potential protected areas of Antarctica to be discussed by CCAMLR specialists and endorsed at the meeting of the CCAMLR Scientific Committee in October.


CCAMLR is an international body whose objective is to conserve the marine flora and fauna of Antarctica. It was born in response to growing interest in commercial exploitation of Antarctic krill (an essential component of the Antarctic ecosystem) and to the history of over-exploitation of several other marine living resources in the Southern Ocean.

At present, CCAMLR has 25 member countries; another 11 nations have adhered to the convention. CCAMLR adopts conservation measures for governing the use of marine living resources in Antarctica based on the best scientific information available.