Protecting the last refuge of the blue whale?

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Editors Note: The following is from Issue 8 
Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete is the director of the Blue Whale Center, a non-profit in Valdivia, Chile, dedicated to blue whale research and conservation. Huecke-Gaete, 40, has been studying the blue whale for almost two decades. Since 2003, in partnership with diverse institutions, his Blue Whale Center has been tracking blue whales on the coasts of northern Chilean Patagonia through tagging, survey and photo identification each year.  A marine biologist with a doctorate in ecology, he is also an ecology professor at Universidad Austral de Chile. In 2008, he won the prestigious Whitley Award to support his efforts to establish a marine park for blue whales, which finally came to fruition in part last year with the creation of Tic Toc Marine Park. Patagon Journal executive editor Jimmy Langman interviewed Hucke-Gaete via Skype. Excerpts: 

Twilight on the Santa Cruz River

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Argentine Patagonia's most endangered river

Text and photos by Michael Gaige

Editors Note: The following is from Issue 8
At dawn, a rare moment without wind on the Patagonian steppe allows me to hear the birds and the rushing water. I pack my tent, ready my packraft, and wait for enough light. The morning provides a pleasant, if short-lived, window for passing through this unforgiving landscape. Calm air is fleeting on the steppe. In just a few hours the insistent winds will shove me off the river. 

Fly fishing in Magallanes

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Editors Note: The following is from Issue 8
If you were thinking about visiting Magallanes, and especially Torres del Paine National Park, you are probably going for the trip of your life. If you were also thinking about leaving your fly rod at home, think again.

Special edition for Adventure Travel World Summit

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The Adventure Travel World Summit 2015 will be held Oct. 5-9 in Puerto Varas, Chile.  For this annual gathering of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), we will publish a special adventure travel edition that will be distributed to the more than 700 participants, which include leading adventure travel industry professionals, media, and more from 63 countries.

Consume and discard, the true background to all environmental problems

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By Patricio Segura
It is not clear whether Albert Einstein ever actually said it, but the comment “if you want different results, do different things,” is certainly a great one. As is the similar statement “insanity is doing the same thing over again while expecting different results."

Issue 8 - Tracking Whales

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Welcome to Issue 8, which features on its cover the great blue whale, the largest mammal to ever grace our planet Earth. This endangered species is increasingly sited off the coast of Chilean Patagonia, and our cover story highlights in particular the recently created Tic Toc Marine Park in Chile. This park is now providing what may become a last refuge for the blue whale in the Southern Hemisphere if climate change continues to affect their food source, which largely depends on the shrinking supply of krill around Antarctica.

Chilean groups launch campaign to protect pristine Caleta Tortel from salmon farms

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Oceana - A network of local, national and international organizations have launched the campaign “Tortel free from Salmon Farms." Their aim is to stop the approval of the first salmon farm concessions in this area, one of the last big areas in Chilean Patagonia free of salmon farms. The Undersecretariat of Fisheries (Subpesca) has proposed a plan to approve five “experimental salmon breeding” concessions in the area of Tortel.

Futaleufu: Big advances in declaring Zone of Touristic Interest

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Futaelufu Riverkeeper, press release, July 29 - Futaleufu Riverkeeper, a Chilean foundation based in the town of Futaleufu, reports that the Los Lagos Regional Secretariat of the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism has granted the request to proceed with the Futaleufu ZOIT application, per Resolution No. 003 of July 21, 2015. A coalition of tourism companies, local actors, and communal and provincial tourism authorities are participating and collaborating in the process. There are high hopes that plans continue on track and include even more participants during the next phase. The news was well received by the towns of Futaleufu and Palena, which both focus on sustainable tourism and are working with various stakeholders to define desired models of development for the area and its communities.

What’s happening with the Patagonia Without Dams campaign in Aysen

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By Peter Hartmann
Translation by Benjamin Waters
As you may remember, HidroAysén, owned by ENEL and Colbún, has filed an appeal to the environmental tribunal against the ministerial committee's decision in June 2014 to block their project.  Last May, legal representatives from the company, the government and the Council for the Defense of Patagonia presented their arguments to the court. Its believed that the environmental tribunal in Santiago, where the case is being heard, could take up to a year to decide. After that, the most likely outcome is that whichever party loses it will appeal before the Supreme Court.
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