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Peruvian sea: characteristics and animals

The Mar de Grau or Peruvian Sea, as it is also frequently called, is nothing other than the region of the Pacific Ocean that Peru touches and over which this country exercises sovereignty and jurisdiction. It is an area with very peculiar characteristics, thanks to which it has very rich ecosystems.

If you want to know more about the riches of the Peruvian sea, keep reading us in this AgroCorrn article in which we talk about the Peruvian Sea, its characteristics, animals and much more.

You may also be interested in: Flora and fauna of the Peruvian Jungle
  1. Peruvian sea: main characteristics
  2. Peruvian sea animals – outstanding fauna
  3. Flora of the Peruvian sea

Peruvian sea: main characteristics

The first thing to say about the Mar de Grau is that it is not a sea itself, but a strip of the Pacific Ocean that extends 200 miles to the west. It is not, therefore, a sea in the geographical sense, but one in political terms.

The Peruvian Sea is further divided into two large regions, the northern and the central-southern. The first covers the territory between Boca de Capones and the Illescas Peninsula. It has bluer waters and has a higher salinity due to the more tropical climate in which it is located. The central-southern region, on the other hand, runs from Illescas to the border with neighboring Chile. It has greener waters and is of lower salinity, in addition to being biologically richer.

The Mar de Grau is also located in an area affected by a complex system of marine currents , among which are the Peruvian or Humboldt Current and the El Niño Current, as well as others of less importance.

Temperature of the Peruvian Sea or of Degree

Due to the unique influence that the waters of the Peruvian Sea receive from the Humboldt Current, its temperature is much lower than it should be taking into account its tropical situation. This means that, although the waters of the Peruvian Sea should have an approximate temperature of 25ºC or 26ºC taking into account its latitude, in reality they have an average temperature of only 18.2ºC .

However, this temperature is also not stable over its entire surface. The northern region has a higher temperature in its waters, while the central-southern region, more affected by the Humboldt Current, has lower temperatures.

Peruvian sea animals – outstanding fauna

As we have already said, the waters of the Peruvian Sea are very rich in biodiversity, and in them we can find a great diversity of fauna. These are some of the most outstanding Peruvian sea animals .

Humboldt penguin

One cannot, for example, speak of the Sea of ​​Grau without mentioning the Humboldt penguin. This species of bird, which is in danger of extinction, reaches up to seventy centimeters in height and is found on Seal Island. It is a bird that is practically a symbol of the country, and is known for its ability to climb rocks in leaps. Other birds of the Sea of ​​Grau are the guanay, the booby, the gannet and the booby bird.

Spiny porpoise

In its waters there are also several cetaceans, one of the most representative of the area being the spiny porpoise, which inhabits shallow waters. This timid character and approximately 150 centimeters long, this cetacean is protected, but despite this, almost 2000 specimens are lost each year due to illegal fishing and exploitation practices.

Leatherback turtle

Nor should we forget the leatherback turtle, the largest freshwater turtle that currently exists, which can measure more than 2 meters and weigh up to 700 kg. The population of this uniquely important reptile is also in a negative trend, meaning that there are fewer and fewer, and it is estimated that it could disappear completely in a few decades.

In this other article we clarify a common question about this species: Is the leatherback turtle in danger of extinction?


In addition, the region has a large number of mollusks, such as woolly, fan shells, black shells and machas.

Peruvian sea fish

The waters of the Sea of ​​Grau are also home to a great diversity of fish, some of which are the following:

  • Anchoveta
  • Blue shark
  • Tuna
  • Beautiful
  • Mackerel
  • Mackerel
  • Guitar fish

Flora of the Peruvian sea

The biological richness of the Mar de Grau is not limited to the fauna; It has a large number of plant species that are worth mentioning. These are some of the most important species of the flora of the Peruvian sea :

Mococho o yuyo

This red algae is widely used for human consumption in Peru. It is eaten fresh, for example in salads, and is very rich in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.


This alga stands out for reaching lengths of up to 20 meters, remaining upright thanks to the “floats” that it houses in its leaves. It forms very spectacular landscapes for divers, reminiscent of authentic underwater forests.

Learn more about What is sargassum in this other AgroCorrn post.


Thanks to their ability to survive in brackish waters, mangroves also extend along the coasts of the Peruvian Sea, forming refuges and ecosystems for a large number of animals.

Here we explain more about what a mangrove is and its characteristics .


It is made up of microscopic algae, and forms the basis of marine ecosystems. However, climate change affects them negatively, and their number is decreasing every year.

If you want to read more articles similar to Peruvian Sea: characteristics and animals , we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category .

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Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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