Following this "ocean grabbing" local communities and social movements pushed for the development of Espacios Costeros Marinos Pueblos Originarios (ECMPOs) or Indigenous Marine Areas (IMAs). Successfully started through the Lafkenche law in 2008 (Law 20.249), indigenous communities are beginning to take back control of their coasts, allowing them to enhance conservation and protect their livelihoods.
IMAs protect the customary uses of the indigenous communities settled in the coastal zone, which have expanded in the south of Chile over the last years. IMAs actively freeze marine development until a management plan has been put into place. Furthermore, specific conservation mechanisms in the IMAs are beginning to emerge, limiting fishing activity, protecting birds and future strategies will limit acoustic pollution for cetaceans.
IMAs are institutional arrangements that have the potential to restructure the way culture and the environment are understood and planned together. In the same way, IMAs are emerging as mechanisms of marine conservation led from local communities. These are cultural communities that consider themselves to be part of the ecosystem and not abstracted from it.