Yaganes covers 69,000 sq km – surpassing the size of the Argentine province of Formosa (72,066 km2) – and its seabed is largely unexplored. It encompasses both the continental shelf and the slope; these diverse types of ground allow the existence of different habitats. The main objective of the creation of this Park is to preserve and protect the varied types of marine habitats and their species.
Yaganes includes two maritime sectors of high productivity. The seabed’s relief is steep including diverse forms, which allows the existence of different kinds of habitats on the southern edge of the continental platform, reaching great depths.
It is an aggregation site for a species of great ecological importance in the entire region (Fueguian sprat). It is important as a feeding area for seabird species endangered at a global and national scale. There is a presence of many species of sea mammals (among them several that are endangered) which feed in the area or traverse it.
Yaganes complies with the seven criteria for marine areas of ecological and biological importance under the Agreement on Biological Diversity. It contains seabed organisms that are indicators of vulnerable marine ecosystems. It includes aggregations of species that are rare, fragile and have slow recovery rates, like cold-water corals.
It incorporates breeding or larva concentration areas of several species of fish of commercial interest, such as the southern blue whiting fish, Patagonian toothfish, Patagonian grenadier, southern hake and rattail, and the Fueguian sprat.
The distribution of several species is endemic, i.e., they are not found in a natural manner in any other part of the world.
It also contains seabed organisms that are indicators of vulnerable marine ecosystems. It includes aggregations of species that are rare, fragile and have slow recovery rates, like cold-water corals, and incorporates breeding or larva concentration areas of several species of fish of commercial interest.
It is important as a feeding area for seabird species that are endangered at the global and national scale. There is a presence of many charismatic species of sea mammals such as the sperm whale, or that feed or travel across the area, like the rockhopper penguin.
Yaganes is an important area for the life cycle of several species of fish, birds, sea lions and cetaceans. The detailed exploration of this extensive marine area may lead to the discovery of numerous live species never before described by scientists.
Los Parques Nacionales Marinos son una herramienta fundamental para la pesca sostenible.
The Patagonian grenadier is the principal species in southern Argentine fisheries below 45° S, being exploited mainly by large trawlers that process the catches on board, with a discard of juveniles of approximately 10% of the catch. The species in the southwest Atlantic is believed to belong to a sole population distributed around the Southern Cone.
The Patagonian toothfish has dark gray coloring on the back and flanks, becoming lighter in the ventral area. It is very long-lived, reaching an age of more than 50 years, and can attain a length of up to 2.5 m and a weight of 200 kg. It can dive to depths of up to 2,500 m. It inhabits Patagonian waters and the surroundings of sub-Antarctic islands on the Southern Ocean. The Patagonian toothfish is numbered among the species that come under greatest commercial fishing.
Bottom trawling is the dominant form of coastal and high-seas fishing in Argentina, and the one that generates the greatest discarding of benthonic invertebrates. The discarding of accompanying fauna can reach up to 80% of the catch and is returned to the sea or used in the manufacture of fishmeal. In the future Marine National Strict Park bottom trawling will not be allowed.
Art of selective fishing that consists of a long line with a large number of branch lines with baited hooks linked to the main line. The demersal longline is kept on the seabed with ballast. The pelagic longline is kept at midwater, and the surface longline drifts freely on the surface with the assistance of buoys.
Estas son algunas de las especies amenazadas que estamos ayudando a conservar.
Invertebrates constitute 95% of the animals that inhabit our planet. Owing to their great biodiversity, it has been impossible to study marine invertebrates in their totality. Many forms of life have developed in this group, there being species with free or sessile ways of life. Many invertebrates of the Patagonian Sea, like mollusks, crustaceans and echinoderms, are consumed by man and are therefore subjected to artisanal or massive fishing, which may lead to problems of population reduction, local extinction or loss of genetic diversity.
The porbeagle is a very robust shark; its body is massive, thick and very compact. It is an opportunistic hunter that swims strongly in search of prey such as squid and fish. It can swim from the surface down to a depth of 370 meters. It prefers cold waters. It is very strong, active and fast, capable of sudden starts and of jumping out of the water. This species has for decades been enduring strong fishing exploitation. Due to this intense overfishing the population has suffered a marked drop over the last 40 years. It is ranked as Vulnerable (VU) in the IUCN Red List.
The hourglass dolphin is the only species of small dolphin regularly encountered south of the Antarctic Convergence. Its calls have never been recorded and there is much more that needs to be learned about this particular cold-water species. It can swim at a speed of up to 22 km/h. It is a very sociable animal and is known for swimming near the prow of vessels. It feeds on small fish including lanternfishes, squid and crustaceans.
Pilot whales are highly sociable and frequently associate with other cetacean species. They are relaxed swimmers, frequently inactive while on the surface. They are still being hunted, not only for their meat but also, it is argued, to reduce their competition with fisheries. Other threats facing the species include bycatch in fishing nets, reduction of its prey, sound contamination and climate change. IUCN ranks the species under Insufficient Data.
These whales have the world’s largest brain. We’re speaking of a weight of some 9 kg, 5 times more than the human brain. Their Spanish name, “cachalote,” derives from the old French word for “tooth.” It is the largest toothed predator on earth. It is one of the few mammals capable of echolocation. It knows and deciphers its surroundings by means of the emission of sounds. At this time only some 200,000 specimens remain. The sperm whale is in danger of extinction.
It is generally found in small groups of less than 10 individuals, but groups of up to 100 specimens may occasionally be observed at feeding time. They are often seen swimming with Burmeister’s porpoises, Peale’s dolphins and Chilean dolphins.
Peale’s dolphin only inhabits waters of southern South America. It can be found in small groups of 2 to 20 individuals, although more numerous groupings, of up to 100 specimens, have been reported. They can be very acrobatic, but can be seen swimming discreetly. Peale’s dolphins used to be caught to be used as bait to fish for the southern king crab and softshell red crab in southern Chile. To this are added the incidental catch in coastal nets. The increase in oil and gas activity and the development of aquaculture, as well as the degrading of the coastal habitat also constitute threats to the species.
The dusky dolphin is an active and fast swimmer and is one of the most acrobatic of dolphin species. Curious and very sociable, it can be found in groups of hundreds of individuals. Thousands of individuals have been captured and the population has seriously diminished in recent decades. Although they are now banned by law, hunts continue at a very reduced rate. Its principal threats are hunting and entanglement in fishing nets. The size of the worldwide population is unknown.
They are discreet, fast swimmers, avoid vessels and, as happens with other members of the genus Phocoena, it is believed that they are not very acrobatic. The few times that sightings have been documented, they have been seen in groups of between 1 and 15 individuals. The spectacled porpoise has most frequently been sighted along the southeast coast of South America, but its range of distribution may extend in a Southern Hemisphere circumpolar band. It is incidentally caught in gillnets and trawls. There is no global estimate for the species.
It feeds on fish, consuming between 15 and 25 kg of nourishment per day, and is, in turn, preyed on by killer whales. The common sea lion is a key species in the coastal ecosystem, moving about widely on the continental platform.
Minke whales are the smallest and most abundant of rorquals. They have a pointed snout, a straight mouth line and a long crest along their heads with two blowholes. Their mouths are lined by hundreds of baleen plates. They are relatively fast swimmers, sometimes performing jumps and pirouettes. When they surface to breathe, their snout appears first. These whales can remain underwater for approximately 20 minutes. They are threatened by whale hunting, chemical contamination and entanglement in fishing nets.
The fin whale is the world’s second largest animal. It can dive to depths of 230 meters and issue infrasounds that can be detected by other fin whales as much as 850 kilometers away. This species feeds of zooplankton and schooling fish. The threats facing this species include entanglement in fishing nets, collisions with vessels, commercial hunting, aboriginal hunting and climate change, including sound and chemical contamination. The fin whale is classified as endangered.
The sei whale is one of the fastest whales on earth – it can reach a speed of 70 km/h, similar to the speed attained by a horse. These wise creatures of the high seas may live to the age of 70. This species feeds mainly on krill and other crustaceans, but may eat squid and fish up to 30 cm in size. The populations of this species were severely affected by the whaling industry. The species is ranked as Endangered and is threatened by chemical and sound contamination, collisions with vessels, climate change, sonars and entanglement in fishing nets.
Arctocephalus derives from the Greek “bear-headed.” It is an animal with sexual dimorphism: the males are much larger than the females. It has two types of hair: an inner layer constituted by fine and short hair, smooth to the touch, and an external one of thick, rough, long and two-colored hair. It feeds on Argentine anchovy, crustaceans and cephalopods. It can perform dives of up to 170 m in depth. The main threats facing it are interaction with fishing activity, because of competition for resources, and entanglement in fishing methods.
The common giant petrel is one of the sole pelagic species that nest on our continent, on the Arce and Gran Robredo islands. It spends a major portion of its life at sea and can attain a great size, with almost 2 meters from wingtip to wingtip. It feeds on fish, crustaceans and, to a great extent, on carrion. Being a scavenger, it is one of the few species that can feed on land. The giant petrel is frequently caught in fishing methods (it bites fishhooks and is caught in nets), for which reason the species faces major mortality.
It is the smallest of the crested penguins. Its name is due to the fact that on land it normally moves about with hops. It forms large groups and pairs are monogamous. It feeds on krill but also eats squid, fish and crustaceans. It has powerful flippers and feet that allow it to move swiftly in the water and to catch its prey with ease. The threats facing this species include commercial hunting, the stealing of eggs by fishing vessels, the introduction of exotic animals, oil contamination and climate change. This species is classified as endangered.
The wandering albatross is one of the largest flying birds currently in existence. From wingtip to wingtip it can measure up to 3.4 meters. This species can fly around the world in less than a month and can soar for days without beating its wings. It prefers to fish on the high seas; its diet is based on cephalopods, fish and garbage from ships. It is monogamous for life. Its reproduction isn’t very frequent so that its death endangers the species. It runs a great risk of being trapped in fishermen’s lines or cords – these are one of this bird’s greatest threats and causes of death.
One of the largest of seabirds is the black-browed albatross. It is also the most common of all albatross species, owing to the great number in existence and the diverse places at which it lives. The name of this bird in particular obeys the fact that is has dark black plumage above the eyes.
The white-chinned petrel or Cape hen is a procellariiform bird of the Procellariidae family that lives on the oceans of the southern hemisphere, and breeds on the coasts of Australia, Argentina and South Africa.
The Magellanic or Patagonian penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) is a bird belonging to the Spheniscidae family. This species nests on the Malvinas Islands and on the coasts and islands of Argentine and Chilean Patagonia. It is a migratory bird, which abandons its habitat in winter to go north and enter seas with milder temperatures, such as those of Uruguay and those of southeastern Brazil.
This is a bird of the albatross family that extends across the southernmost seas. Colonies of this species exist on several archipelagoes and it is possible to sight it on Argentine, Chilean, Peruvian, South African, Australian and New Zealand coasts.