Cellulophaga algicola DSM 14237, isolated from the Eastern Antarctic coastal zone, was found to be able to hydrolyze several types of polysaccharide materials. In this study, a predicted β-agarase (CaAga1) from C. algicola was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli. The purified recombinant CaAga1 showed specific activities of 29.39, 20.20, 14.12, and 8.99 U/mg toward agarose, pure agar, and crude agars from Gracilaria lemaneiformis and Porphyra haitanensis, respectively. CaAga1 exhibited an optimal temperature and pH of 40 oC and 7, respectively. CaAga1 was stable over a wide pH range from 4 to 11. The recombinant enzyme showed an unusual thermostability, that is, it was stable at temperature below or equal to 40oC and around 70 oC, but was thermolabile at about 50 oC. With the agarose as the substrate, the Km and Vmax values for CaAga1 were 1.19 mg/mL and 36.21 U/mg, respectively. The reducing reagent (dithiothreitol) enhanced the activity of CaAga1 by more than one fold. In addition, CaAga1 was salt-tolerant given that it retained approximately 70% of the maximum activity in the presence of 2 M NaCl. The thin layer chromatography results indicated that CaAga1 is an endo-type β-agarase and efficiently hydrolyzed agarose into neoagarotetraose (NA4) and neoagarohexaose (NA6). A structural model of CaAga1 in complex with neoagarooctaose (NA8) was built by homology modeling and explained the hydrolysis pattern of CaAga1.