Saturday, March 24, 2018

It comprises a coastal area and adjacent waters (up to 24 nautical miles) between Cabo Blanco and Bahía Laura, in the Province of Santa Cruz. Penguin Island (Isla Pinguino) is home to the only continental colony in South America of the Southern Rockhopper Penguin and a dozen Red-legged Cormorant colonies. Other species frequently found in the surrounding marine area is Commerson's dolphin and Peale's dolphin.


Conservation Status



Argentine Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone.  In this area is the Isla Pingüino Interjurisdictional Marine Park (Parque Inter-jurisdiccional Marino Isla Pingüino).

Biogeographical Region

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


7.800 km2

Types of Habitats

Coastal environments with gulches, rocky cliffs, ravines as well as sand and pebble beaches. Pelagic and benthic shelf environments that include productive and tidal fronts.

Species Richness

Eight marine mammal species; 50 waterfowl and seabird species; over  50 species of fish reported in this area.

Main Uses

Industrial fishing for Argentine red shrimp and artisanal fisheries.


Chronic contamination from hydrocarbons and accidental oil spills. Overfishing; by-catch and incidental mortality of cartilaginous fish, seabirds and marine mammals; destruction of seabed communities by bottom trawling. Discards of non-target species and disposal of offal in dumps. Invasive alien species.

Management - Main Government Bodies

Province of Santa Cruz: Ministerio de la Producción, Consejo Agrario Provincial, Subsecretaría de Medio Ambiente, Subsecretaría de Pesca y Actividades Portuarias.
National Bodies: Administración de Parques Nacionales (APN).

Level of Protection

It contains four protected coastal areas, two of which provide marine environmental protection: the Reserva Natural Ría Deseado and the Parque Inter–Jurisdiccional Marino Isla Pingüino, (the latter was recently established and is undergoing implementaton) which respectively protect 100 km2 and 1.400 km2 of the sea.


Southern Rockhopper Penguin © Centro de Investigaciones Puerto Deseado, UNPA. Grupo de Aves Marinas.

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