Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are carcinogenic compounds which contaminate water and soil, and the enzymes can be used for bioremediation of these environments. This study aimed to evaluate some environmental conditions that affect the production and activity of the catechol 1,2-dioxygenase (C12O) by Mycobacterium fortuitum in the cell free and immobilized extract in sodium alginate. The bacterium was grown in mineral medium and LB broth containing 250 mg L-1 of anthracene (PAH). The optimum conditions of pH (4.0-9.0), temperature (5-70 ºC), reaction time (10-90 min) and the effect of ions in the enzyme activity were determined. The Mycobacterium cultivated in LB shown higher growth and the C12O activity was two-fold higher to that in the mineral medium. To both extracts the highest enzyme activity was at pH 8.0, however, the immobilized extract promoted the increase in the C12O activity in a pH range between 4.0 and 8.5. The immobilized extract increased the enzymatic activity time and showed the highest C12O activity at 45 ºC, 20 ºC higher than the greatest temperature in the cell free extract. The enzyme activity in both extracts was stimulated by Fe3+, Hg2+ and Mn2+ and inhibited by NH4+ and Cu2+, but the immobilization protected the enzyme against the deleterious effects of K+ and Mg2+ in tested concentrations. The catechol 1,2-dioxygenase of Mycobacterium fortuitum in the immobilized extract has greater stability to the variations of pH, temperature and reaction time, and show higher activity in presence of ions, comparing to the cell free extract.