The Humboldt Current helps create one of the world’s most productive upwelling areas and is the largest in the southeastern Pacific Ocean.
A current of cold Antarctic water known as the Humboldt (or Peru) Current flows up the coast of Chile and Peru, then turns west and leaves the coast. This causes deep, nutrient-rich water to rise up along the coast. This upwelling creates perfect conditions for abundant plankton and an extraordinary variety of marine mammals, seabirds, and fish.
The Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem extends along the West Coast of South America from Northern Peru to the southern tip of Chile. It is one of the major upwelling systems of the world, responsible for extremely high levels of organic production. The Humboldt Current system contains cold, low salinity waters that flow in the direction of the Equator and can extend 1,000 kilometers offshore.