Saturday, March 24, 2018

It is one of the vastest and most persistent oceanic fronts of the Patagonian Sea and has a key ecological and functional role for the Patagonian marine ecosystem. This highly productive area of the outer shelf that borders the shelf-break stretches more than 2,000 km. It sustains a complex trophic web including spawning areas for species of commercial value and it is the foraging ground and migratory path for top predators. At least seven threatened seabird species forage in this area.


Conservation Status



Argentine Exclusive Economic Zone and high seas (international waters). The southern part of this area is controlled by the United Kingdom and is part of the area over which Argentina is claiming sovereignty.

Biogeographical Region

Temperate seas of South America. Magellanic Province. Ecoregion: Malvinas/Falklands, Patagonian Shelf and Urugay - Buenos Aires Shelf.


59.300 km2

Types of Habitats

Shelf and shelf-break pelagic and benthic environments.

Species Richness

There is no specific description of the front with respect to its biodiversity.  Varioius species of albatrosses, giant petrels, penguins and marine mammals forage in the area.

Main Uses

Intensive industrial fishing (main target species: Argentine squid). Refrigerated vessels, freezer trawlers, factory vessels, longliners and squid-jiggers operate in the area. One of the largest scallop fisheries in the world is ongoing in the area.


Unsustainable fishing activities, by-catch and discards of non-target species.  Illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing.

Management - Main Government Bodies

Consejo Federal Pesquero, Subsecretaría de Pesca y Acuicultura; Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto; Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable (SAyDS).

Level of Protection

There are no marine protected areas in this sector.  Management measures are applied for harvesting the Argentine squid, there is a special zone for freezer trawlers as welll as management areas and temporary no-take zones during the scallop breeding season.



Wandering albatross. © Valeria Falabella

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