Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Blue Hole  is an area outside the Patagonian continental shelf located beyond Argentina's Exclusive Economic Zone some 500 km east of the Golfo San Jorge. It belongs to the shelf-break oceanic front  and is noteworthy for being in the migratory path of the Argentine squid.  It is a foraging ground for seabirds and marine mammals.


Conservation Status



International waters (high seas) in a sector of the continental shelf of Argentina outside its Exclusive Economic Zone. The adjacent buffer zone does belong to Argentina's Exclusive Economic Zone.

Biogeographical Region

Temperate seas of South America.  Magellanic Province. Ecoregion: Patagonian Shelf.


The Blue Hole (Agujero Azul): 6.600 km2
Buffer zone: 7.160 km2

Types of Habitats

Shelf and shelf-break pelagic and benthic environments.

Species Richness

There are no specific studies for this sector.  We can infer that it is highly productive from regional fisheries and scientific knowledge (satellite monitoring) of seabird and marine mammal migratory paths and foraging grounds.

Main Uses

Intensive fishing for the Argentine squid (Illex argentinus) and demersal fish by long distance trawlers (specially Spanish).


Illegal, unreported unregulated fishing. Destruction of seabed communities by trawling.

Management - Main Government Bodies

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

Level of Protection

The buffer zone is in a special fishing area for freezer trawlers.


Squid-jigger vessel during fishing operation in the shelf-break area © Carlos Verona

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