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Ponta Delgada ,  January 10, 2010

Azorean hydrothermal vents classified as Sites of Community Interest

The European Union has recently included the hydrothermal vents located in the Azorean sea on the list of Sites of Community Interest (pSCI) of the biogeographic region of Macaronesia.
The two hydrothermal vents – “Menez Gwen,” with an area of ten thousand hectares, and “Lucky Strike,” with an area of over nineteen thousand hectares – were proposed by the Azores given their scientific importance, particularly in the study of the genome biodiversity of deep-sea species.
Located between 140 and 180 miles Southwest of Faial Island, the two hydrothermal fields can be found at 800 and 1700 meters depth, expelling fluids reaching over 330ºC, which does not prevent the proliferation of countless forms of life in these areas.
As the President of the Region Government had emphasised at the opening of the new facilities of the Department of Oceanography and Fisheries (DOP) of the University of the Azores in Horta, the classification awarded by the European Union to the two hydrothermal vents “entails the Region to take on the responsibility to manage one of the most interesting areas of all the Atlantic – I might even say one of the wonders of Portugal and of the World.”
For Carlos César, the decision of the European Union and the best working conditions of the DOP should stimulate “the creation of a centre of excellence associated to deep-sea technology in Horta, combining the knowledge and the already consolidated prestige of this institution with the entrepreneurship of its teachers and scholarship holders.”
Creating a technological park linked to marine sciences is, according to the President of the Regional Government, the major goal for this institution, but it is a goal that will be achieved during this new decade with the cooperation of the Government of the Azores.


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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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