Marine Fauna of South Chile and the Antarctic Peninsula

For several thousand years, Patagonia was inhabited by fishermen and hunter-gatherers. Since that time coastal life has changed dramatically. In the nineteenth century, Punta Arenas became the starting point for whale hunters and expeditions to the South Pole, whereas the fjords remained untouched. Within the last 25 years Chile has developed from a non-entity to the world's leading salmon producer. However, life for professional scuba divers has not improved and marine resources are under increasing pressure. Surprisingly, only recently an important nursing area of blue whales was discovered. Presenting both the background story and the diverse marine wildlife, this book is divided in two parts: in the general part various authors describe how coastal life has changed in Patagonia and the Antarctic on different time scales, describing important marine biotopes in a general way to familiarize the reader with the area; the second and main part of the book is elaborated as a coloured guide to the marine fauna of Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula written by taxonomists and marine ecologists. Rather than focus on detailed species description published elsewhere, the authors describe the role and function of the animals in the system.