The Info List - Gulf Of Panama

--- Advertisement ---


The GULF OF PANAMA (Spanish : Golfo de Panamá) is a gulf in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
, near the southern coast of Panama
. It has a maximum width of 250 kilometres (160 mi), a maximum depth of 220 metres (720 ft) and the size of 2,400 square kilometres (930 sq mi). The Panama Canal connects the Gulf of Panama
with the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
and the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
. The Panamanian capital Panama
City is the main urban centre on the gulf shore.

The gulf itself also contains a few minor gulfs, with Panama
Bay to the north, Gulf of Parita to the west and Gulf of San Miguel to the east. The gulf has a few islands and on the coast there are a few important ports, like Panama
City, La Palma and Chitrè . The Pearl Islands archipelago is a group of over two hundred islands situated to the east in the gulf.

Panama’s largest river, Tuira , flows south into the Gulf of San Miguel.


* 1 Tourism * 2 Climate * 3 Mangroves * 4 Environmental concerns * 5 Laws and regulations * 6 Conservation efforts * 7 Notes


Tourism is a very large part of the Panamanian economy, and much of it revolves around the Panama
Bay.The most popular attraction being the Pearl Islands, with its clear, nutrient rich water and diverse wildlife drawing many tourists and divers to explore the archipelago. Since the Pearl Islands
Pearl Islands
are the most popular tourist destination in the Panama
Bay, the local communities have adapted and changed due to the touristic developments. Some islands, such as Pedro González , have been positively affected by the boom in tourism, as the Islanders believe it is good for the local economy. The local inhabitants of other islands such as Contadora believe that tourism is bad for the islands, and wish to preserve the local culture.


The climate in the Panama
Bay region is extreme, ranging from and extreme dry season (Jan-April) to an extreme wet season. (May–December) This has a major influence on the mangroves in the region, since the dry season as well as El Niño bring strong storms that can damage the Mangroves and disrupt their reproductive cycles.


Main article: Gulf of Panama

Mangroves are an essential part of the bay ecosystem and habitats. These mangroves are crucial to the local bird species’ long term survival, as they provide shelter and nutrients to the local bird species. Over 20 species were documented in the bay at over 57 locations, mostly in the Pearl Island region. Brown Pelicans are the most abundant birds in the bay, with Cattle Egrets and Great Egrets also populating a large portion. The other most plentiful birds in the bay include: The Sooty Tern , Bridled Tern , White Ibis , Glossy Ibis , Little Blue Heron , Cocoi Heron , Bare-Throated Tiger Heron , Black Crowned Night Heron , Blue Footed Booby , Brown Booby
Brown Booby
, Magnificent Frigatebird , Great Egret
Great Egret
, and Snowy Egret . The Seabirds also are an indicator of the health of the fish, which rely on the nutrient rich debris of the mangroves to survive.

Mangroves have also been used by local communities for centuries for their charcoal, long lasting fuel wood, poles, bark, and are still an important part of the local communities to this day. Since the seafood and nutrients are abundant in the waters of the bay, it has been proved an advantageous place to live for thousands of years, dating back to the late Preceramic Period , around 6000 B.C. A recent discovery of dolphin remains in a Preceramic hunter-gatherer encampment on the Pearl Islands
Pearl Islands
suggests that the ancient inhabitants of the islands did not only hunt small fish, but larger ones such as dolphins and sharks. The nutrient-rich water draws a significant amount of fish and sea animals to the Panama
Bay, giving the ancient hunter-gatherers a wide variety to choose from. Evidence was found that these inhabitants lived mainly off of fish and turtles in the bay, but dolphins and sharks were also exploited for their meat, bones, and oil. One major problem that researchers found was that it is unclear whether the primitive hunter-gatherers systematically hunted the dolphins, or merely herded them towards the islands until they became beached. Nonetheless, this is still an important discovery as it is the first Preceramic site identified in the Pearl Islands, as well as the first evidence in Central America that the early inhabitants exploited dolphins for food.


There has been concern recently relating to the environmental health of the Panama
Bay, as industry has grown significantly in the Panama City area in recent years, specifically the oil industry. Petroleum is both a major import and export of Panama
City, and as such, the concern for oil spills and how they would affect the bay is significant. Another great concern is the destruction and utilization of the mangroves in the bay. Both the wildlife in the bay and the human population rely on the mangroves for survival. The mangroves in the bay are also not only threatened by siltation by excessive erosion, dam construction, and pesticides from the local farms, but also by the utilization of these mangroves for industrial farming.


The creation of the Panama
Canal in 1914 was a major breakthrough in terms of international transport, as it formed Panama
and the surrounding area as a new international hub of trade and transport. However, although it brought business to the area, the new boom in transport in the area took a major toll on the environment. As the Panamanian economy has grown over the years, so have the laws and policies relating to it, specifically marine policy. Marine resources in and around the Panama
Bay are key to many major industries such as farming and fishing, and over 80% of the surrounding population directly rely on them to survive. Although the laws that have been put into place over the years made major changes to the infrastructure and government, there are still major gaps in the enforcement and structure of these laws.

Many of the laws put into place did not have conservation of the environment in mind, and mainly focused on business. Water treatment is a major problem in the Panama
Bay, as much of the once pure water is now polluted with sewage and chemical waste. Sewage treatment is poor in a large portion of Panama, and due to the lack of proper waste management plants, raw sewage from sewage tanks is often dumped into the bay with little to no treatment. Panama
City and the surrounding areas draw clean drinking water from the Panama
Canal watershed, but the recent boom in urbanization and pollution threatens the quality of the drinking water. The Panamanian Government as well as non-governmental organizations are working towards conservation of the watershed, but the loose laws towards industry and waste management make this hard to achieve.


In 2009, The Panama
Bay was declared a "Wetland of International Importance" by the Ramsar Convention
Ramsar Convention
, an international convention for the protection of wetlands of international importance. However, this status was temporarily suspended in 2012 by the Panamanian Government to protect Industry and farming. This sparked controversy amongst environmentalists, and in 2013 the bay regained protected status under the Panamanian Supreme court, with the help and support of the Panama Audubon Society.

In February 2015, the Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela
Juan Carlos Varela
signed into law the ban of construction in the 210,000 acre area of the Bay of Panama, and declared the bay a "wetlands complex as a protected wildlife refuge area". This action was controversial within the Panamanian Government as the previous president, Ricardo Martinelli
Ricardo Martinelli
, was criticized by environmentalists for his neglect of the destruction of the mangroves in the Panama
Bay. This law was put into place mainly to conserve the mangrove forests and stop erosion, as well as to protect the habitats of the migratory shorebirds.


* ^ "Gulf of Panama
mangroves". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. * ^ "Buscando Las Perlas: Aproximación Al Fenómeno Del Turismo Como Proceso Social Y Cultural En El Archipiélago De Las Perlas, Panamá." (2010): OAIster. Web. 15 Feb. 2016. * ^ Jimenez, Jorge A. 1999. Ambiente, distribucíon y características estructurales en los manglares del Pacífico de Centro América: contrastes climáticos. Yáñez-Arancibia, Alejandro and Ana Laura Lara-Domínguez, editors. Ecosistemas de Manglar en América Tropical. Instituto de Ecologia, A.C. Xalapa, México; UICN/ORMA Costa Rica; NOAA/NMFS Silver Spring MD USA. * ^ Angehr, George R. "Seabird and Colonial Wading Bird Nesting in the Gulf of Panama." Waterbirds: The International Journal of Waterbird Biology 30.3 (2007): 335-57. JSTOR. Web. 09 Feb. 2016. * ^ Cooke, Richard G. et al. "Exploitation of Dolphins (Cetacea: Delphinidae) at a 6000 Yr Old Preceramic Site in the Pearl Island Archipelago, Panama." Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports n. pag. ScienceDirect. Web. 9 Feb. 2016. * ^ " Panama
Imports and Exports". The Observatory of Economic Compexity. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved Feb 9, 2016. * ^ D’Croz L. 1993. Status and uses of mangroves in the Republic of Panamá. L.D. Lacerda, editor. Conservation and sustainable utilization of Mangrove Forests in Latin America and Africa Regions. Part 1; Volume 2. * ^ " Panama
Bight Mangroves". World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved Feb 14, 2016. * ^ Spalding, Ana K., Daniel O. Suman, and Maria Eugenia Mellado. "Navigating the Evolution of Marine Policy in Panama: Current Policies and Community Responses in the Pearl Islands
Pearl Islands
and Bocas Del Toro Archipelagos of Panama." Marine Policy 62 (2015): 161–168. Web. 9 Feb. 2016 * ^ "Environmental Issues in Panama". Anywhere Panama. Retrieved 15 February 2016. * ^ " Panama
Bay Regains Limited Protected Status". National Audubon Society. April 5, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2016. * ^ Ontiveros, Roberto (Feb 10, 2015). "Environmental Issues: Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela
Juan Carlos Varela
Protects Wetlands Outside Panama
City From Construction". Retrieved Feb 9, 2016.

Coordinates : 8°05′11″N 79°16′58″W / 8.08642°N 79.28284°W / 8.08642; -79.28284

* v * t * e

's oceans and seas


* Amundsen Gulf * Barents Sea
Barents Sea
* Beaufort Sea
Beaufort Sea
* Chukchi Sea
Chukchi Sea
* East Siberian Sea * Greenland Sea
Greenland Sea
* Gulf of Boothia * Kara Sea
Kara Sea
* Laptev Sea * Lincoln Sea
Lincoln Sea
* Prince Gustav Adolf Sea * Pechora Sea * Queen Victoria Sea * Wandel Sea * White Sea
White Sea


* Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
* Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
* Alboran Sea * Archipelago Sea * Argentine Sea
Argentine Sea
* Baffin Bay
Baffin Bay
* Balearic Sea
Balearic Sea
* Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
* Bay of Biscay * Bay of Bothnia * Bay of Campeche
Bay of Campeche
* Bay of Fundy
Bay of Fundy
* Black Sea
Black Sea
* Bothnian Sea * Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
* Celtic Sea * English Channel
English Channel
* Foxe Basin
Foxe Basin
* Greenland Sea
Greenland Sea
* Gulf of Bothnia
Gulf of Bothnia
* Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Finland
* Gulf of Lion * Gulf of Guinea
Gulf of Guinea
* Gulf of Maine * Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
* Gulf of Saint Lawrence
Gulf of Saint Lawrence
* Gulf of Sidra
Gulf of Sidra
* Gulf of Venezuela * Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
* Ionian Sea
Ionian Sea
* Irish Sea
Irish Sea
* Irminger Sea
Irminger Sea
* James Bay
James Bay
* Labrador Sea * Levantine Sea
Levantine Sea
* Libyan Sea
Libyan Sea
* Ligurian Sea
Ligurian Sea
* Marmara Sea * Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
* Myrtoan Sea * North Sea
North Sea
* Norwegian Sea
Norwegian Sea
* Sargasso Sea
Sargasso Sea
* Sea of Åland * Sea of Azov
Sea of Azov
* Sea of Crete * Sea of the Hebrides * Thracian Sea * Tyrrhenian Sea
Tyrrhenian Sea
* Wadden Sea
Wadden Sea


* Andaman Sea
Andaman Sea
* Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
* Bali Sea * Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
* Flores Sea * Great Australian Bight
Great Australian Bight
* Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
* Gulf of Aqaba
Gulf of Aqaba
* Gulf of Khambhat * Gulf of Kutch * Gulf of Oman
Gulf of Oman
* Gulf of Suez
Gulf of Suez
* Java Sea * Laccadive Sea
Laccadive Sea
* Mozambique Channel * Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
* Red Sea
Red Sea
* Timor Sea


* Arafura Sea * Banda Sea * Bering Sea
Bering Sea
* Bismarck Sea * Bohai Sea
Bohai Sea
* Bohol Sea
Bohol Sea
* Camotes Sea * Celebes Sea * Ceram Sea
Ceram Sea
* Chilean Sea * Coral Sea * East China Sea
East China Sea
* Gulf of Alaska
Gulf of Alaska
* Gulf of Anadyr * Gulf of California
Gulf of California
* Gulf of Carpentaria
Gulf of Carpentaria
* Gulf of Fonseca * Gulf of Panama * Gulf of Thailand
Gulf of Thailand
* Gulf of Tonkin
Gulf of Tonkin
* Halmahera Sea
Halmahera Sea
* Koro Sea * Mar de Grau * Molucca Sea * Moro Gulf * Philippine Sea
Philippine Sea
* Salish Sea
Salish Sea
* Savu Sea
Savu Sea
* Sea of Japan
Sea of Japan
* Sea of Okhotsk
Sea of Okhotsk
* Seto Inland Sea
Seto Inland Sea
* Shantar Sea * Sibuyan Sea
Sibuyan Sea
* Solomon Sea
Solomon Sea
* South China Sea
South China Sea
* Sulu Sea
Sulu Sea
* Tasman Sea
Tasman Sea
* Visayan Sea * Yellow Sea
Yellow Sea


* Amundsen Sea * Bellingshausen Sea * Cooperation Sea * Cosmonauts Sea * Davis Sea * D\'Urville Sea * King Haakon VII Sea * Lazarev Sea * Mawson Sea
Mawson Sea
* Riiser-Larsen Sea * Ross Sea
Ross Sea
* Scotia Sea
Scotia Sea
* Somov Sea
Somov Sea
* Weddell Sea


* Aral Sea
Aral Sea
* Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
* Dead Sea
Dead Sea
* Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
* Salton Sea
Salton Sea



* WorldCat Identities * VIAF :