Chile is a tricontinental country, with three geographical zones:
- Continental Chile, including a strip on the western coast of the Southern Cone of South America, between the highest segment of the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean to the Drake Passage to the south,
- Insular Chile, corresponding to a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, the Juan Fernandez Archipelago and the Desventuradas Islands, Salas y Gomez Island; and Easter Island, located in Oceania; and
- The Chilean Antarctic Territory, which is an area of Antarctica between meridians 53° W and 90° W over which Chile claims sovereignty, extending its southern limit to the South Pole.
Chile has a coastline 6,435 km long and exercises exclusive rights and sovereignty over its maritime space, called the Chilean Sea. This includes four zones: the Territorial Sea, the Contiguous Zone, the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental Shelf.
It has 95 ports (15 state ports for public use and 80 private ones) mobilizing approximately a total of 140 million tons annually; Valparaiso and San Antonio are the main cargo ports for goods passing through the country.
The country's Maritime Authority is in the hands of the General Directorate of Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine.
GENERAL DIRECTORATE OF MARITIME TERRITORY AND MERCHANT MARINE
Created by Law Decree on August 30, 1953, the main functions of the General Directorate of Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine are to protect human life at sea, protect the aquatic environment and natural marine resources, regulate maritime-port activities and ensure compliance with the laws and international agreements in force in the country.
DIRECTEMAR reports to the Commander in Chief of the Chilean Navy and the latter to the Ministry of National Defense.
It acts as the highest Maritime Authority of the State and has sole and exclusive jurisdiction in this matter. In addition, for the purposes of its international functions as representative of the State, it performs these tasks in accordance with the foreign policy established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The General Directorate of Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine is the high-level organization of the Chilean Navy whose mission is to ensure compliance with the laws and international agreements in force, to ensure the safety of navigation, protect human life at sea, preserve the aquatic environment and marine natural resources, and supervise the activities carried out in the maritime area under its jurisdiction, with the purpose of contributing to the maritime development of the Nation.
To provide a Maritime Public Service of Excellence.
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