San Matías Gulf

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The San Mat is an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Patagonia, Argentina. It is bordered by the Río Negro Province to the north and west, and the Valdes Peninsula of the Chubut Province to the south. It is "one of the largest gulfs in the Patagonia region".[1]

The gulf was the subject of scientific investigation for its unusually large sand waves and their movement.[2]

The local fishing industry may be unsustainably harvesting the purple clam (Amiantis purpurata), the Tehuelche scallop (Aequipecten tehuelchus), the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis), and the ribbed mussel (Aulacomya atra), as well as the Patagonian octopus (Octopus tehuelchus).[3]

The 2003 commercial squid harvest broke the previous record set in 2001 by more than double at 5,535 tonnes (5,448 long tons; 6,101 short tons).[4]

At the time in 2014, the bay is the only location in the world where swimming-with whales are permitted for tourism with Right Whales.[5]


  1. ^ Maria Cintia Piccolo (2005). "Oceanography of the western South Atlantic continental shelf from 33 to 55°S". In Kenneth H. Brink & Allan R. Robinson. The Global Coastal Ocean: Regional Studies and Syntheses. The Sea: Ideas and Observations on Progress in the Study of the Seas 11. Harvard University Press. pp. 253–330. ISBN 9780674017412. 
  2. ^ C. L. So; J. W. Pierce; F. R. Siegel (1974). "Sand waves in the Gulf of San Matias, Argentina". Geografiska Annaler, Series A: Physical Geography (Blackwell Publishing) 56 (3/4): 227–235. JSTOR 520709. 
  3. ^ Maite Narvarte; Raúl González; Pablo Filippo (October 2007). "Artisanal mollusk fisheries in San Matías Gulf (Patagonia, Argentina): An appraisal of the factors contributing to unsustainability". Fisheries Research 87 (1): 68–76. doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2007.06.012. 
  4. ^ "Record squid catch for the San Matías Gulf". MercoPress. October 15, 2003. Squid catches in the San Matías Gulf reached a record 5,535 tonnes, reports Río Negro Fisheries director, Italo Sangiulliano. ... Last year's San Matías Gulf squid fishery was a "total failure" because stocks were so low. But this year's total catch is more than double the previous record of 2,400 tonnes achieved in 2001. 
  5. ^

Coordinates: 41°30′S 64°30′W / 41.500°S 64.500°W / -41.500; -64.500