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Horta ,  July 27, 2020

Marine reserves are fundamental tools for management of the Azores sea, says Gui Menezes

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology stated today that marine reserves are "fundamental management tools" of the Azores Sea, which will benefit "not only maritime-tourism companies, but also the fishing activity," both recreational and professional.

Gui Menezes defended that marine reserves "function as maternity wards and as fish export sites to adjacent areas and, consequently, are also important for fishing."

The Regional Secretary spoke on the sidelines of a dive in Caldeirinhas Reserve, off the island of Faial, the first marine reserve in the Region. It was classified in 1984 and is part of the Natura 2000 Network.

According to the Secretary for the Sea, the purpose of today's dive was intended to “call attention to the importance of marine reserves for the conservation of biodiversity and the abundance of species.” Moreover, it was also a way of “motivating Azoreans to look for our maritime-tourism companies and do different activities, as a family, this summer, either diving or whale watching."

"We have some of the best places in the world to dive," Gui Menezes said, challenging Azoreans to "look for the sea and discover our natural heritage."

The Caldeirinhas Reserves is one of the three classified areas where, during the month of June, eight exploratory dives were carried out to map marine litter, alongside Baixa do Sul in the Faial-Pico channel and Madalena Islets on the island of Pico. 

Following these dives, the maps are now being drawn up for the subsequent removal of litter, whose works are due to begin later this year. In 2021, there are plans to carry out an assessment to the marine litter deposition rate.

These activities are being carried out under the scope of LIFE IP Azores Natura, the largest conservation project ever conceived for the Azores. Its marine component represents, until 2027, an investment of more than 4.3 million Euros.

"This is an operational project that enable us to conduct surveys and data collection as well as to perceive the impact of litter on our marine ecosystems," said the Regional Secretary.

LIFE Natura provides for, among other aspects, a significant component of training and dialogue with the civil society. Additionally, it includes actions aimed at the recovery of marine habitats, the control of invasive marine species and the use of marine protected areas, namely those located within the Natura 2000 Network, by the users of the maritime space, so as to assess the compliance with the regulations in force.

In this regard, the Regional Directorate for Sea Affairs is also coordinating a regional campaign focused on coastal and underwater cleaning actions, involving companies and citizens.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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