Saturday, March 24, 2018
Peninsula Valdes Oceanic Front

The Peninsula Valdes, a provincial natural area which has been declared a World Heritage Natural site, features unique landscapes and wonders of nature: the coast and surrounding waters are breeding and foraging sites for marine mammals and seabirds. The southern right whale and southern elephant seal are noteworthy species in the area. The marine area proposed as a "Lighthouse" includes the productive Valdes front in continental shelf waters.


Conservation Status



Argentine Territorial Waters and Exclusive Economic Zone.

Biogeographic Region

Temperate seas of South America. Magellanic Province. Ecoregion: North Patagonian Gulfs.


12.500 km2

Types of Habitats

Shoreline with cliffs and vast sand or pebble beaches. The pelagic and benthic shelf environments include productive and tidal fronts.

Species Richness

In the Peninsula Valdes area and its gulfs the following have been reported: 43 fish species; 73 waterfowl and seabird species (29 breed in the area); 37 marine mammal species (12 resident).

Main Uses

Wildlife watching tourism, seaside tourism, rural tourism, fishing for sport and diving. Cruise ship traffic, maritime transport and port activity.  Artisanal fishing for bivalve molluscs and inshore fishing.  Sand and gravel quarrying. Sheep raising up to the coast.


Overfishing; by-catch and incidental mortality of cartilaginous fish, seabirds and marine mammals; destruction of seabed comunities by bottom trawling. Discharge of offal. Chronic contamination from hydrocarbons and accidental oil spills.

Management - Main Government Bodies

Provincia del Chubut: Ministerio de Ambiente y Control del Desarrollo Sustentable, Secretaría de Turismo y Áreas Protegidas, Subsecretaría de Pesca, Dirección de Fauna y Flora Silvestre, Administración del Área Natural Protegida Península Valdés. Organismos nacionales: Consejo Federal Pesquero, Subsecretaría de Pesca y Acuicultura, Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable (SAyDS).

Level of protection

The Peninsula Valdes Protected Area with Managed Resources stretches from the shoreline up to 3 nautical miles around the peninsula.



Southern Elephant Seal harem in Península Valdés © Claudio Campagna


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