Located just off the southern tip of Argentina, in territorial waters, to the south of Tierra del Fuego and Staten Island, Yaganes lies in the Drake passage which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It’s a large polygon whose west side represents the international maritime boundary with Chile. The conservation area covers 69,000 square kilometers, including both the continental shelf and the continental slope. Of this area, the ocean bottom is mostly unexplored.


Yaganes includes two high productivity sectors of the sea. The bottom relief is steep with different shapes, which allows the existence of different types of habitats on the edge of the continental shelf, reaching great depths. The conservation and protection of the area is key to the life cycle of various species of fish, birds and marine mammals. Especially for many endemic species that are not found naturally in other parts of the world.


Yaganes is of fundamental importance as a feeding and migration ground for globally and locally endangered seabird species and marine mammals. For this reason, the area is known as a “supermarket” and a “sea freeway”. It is also a high biological productivity area because of the steepness and striking landscape of the seabed, which allows the existence of very diverse habitats. Yaganes meets the seven criteria for marine areas of ecological and biological relevance created by the Convention on Biological Diversity.


A large proportion of the 67 endangered species in Mar Argentino migrate or feed in the Yaganes area. Bycatch, overfishing and pollution are some of the threats in the area. 

The different fishing gear, such as bottom trawling, also pose threats to the benthic species that inhabit the area.


Yaganes is a significant area for the life cycle of many fish and bird species, south american sea lions, elephant seals and cetaceans. The detailed exploration of this large marine area could lead to the discovery of several species never-before surveyed by marine scientists.


The sei and minke whales, the dusky and hourglass dolphins, the wandering albatross and the magellanic penguin are some of the species which live and visit Yaganes. In addition, the area includes seabed organisms which act as indicators of vulnerable marine ecosystems and some rare species, slow to recover, such as cold water corals.

Many of these species are endemic, meaning their distribution is limited to this one single geographical area and they cannot be naturally found in any other part of the world.


No To Salmon Farming

Natural Protected Area Península Mitre

Blue Patagonia

Marine Protected Area Yaganes

Marine Protected Area Namuncurá Banco Burdwood II


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