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Ponta Delgada ,  September 24, 2010

Carlos César pleased with international acknowledgement of new Marine Protected Areas in the Azores

The President of the Government enthusiastically welcomed the confirmation, announced by the ministers of the Contracting Parties to the OSPAR, of the new Marine Protected areas in the Azores. For Carlos César, the fact “contributes to the international projection of the Azores and, once again, for a good reason.” The President of the Government also said that “Europe is to be congratulated and I am very pleased to see that we have contributed to that. The protection of the marine environments and their sustainable use are regional priorities which, with the collaboration of all interested parties, have been achieved at the level of fisheries, scientific research and environmental tourism, among others.”
The ministers of the Contracting Parties to the Oslo-Paris Convention met in Bergen, Norway, between September 23 and 24. During two days of discussion and negotiation at the highest level, the 16 Contracting Parties to the OSPAR adopted important decisions with a major impact on the North-East waters where the Convention will be applied.
The classification of 6 marine areas beyond national jurisdiction, accepted by unanimity, which will now join the OSPAR network of marine protected areas, was one the most important measures adopted at the meeting. Four of these areas consist in the water column overlying the soil and subsoil which had been previously submitted by Portugal to integrate the OSPAR network.
The Altair, Antialtair and Josephine seamounts and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge North of Azores have thus become protected areas. This was regarded as a giant step towards marine conservation worldwide. The proposal was submitted by Portugal to the Committee to include the water column overlying these areas in the OSPAR network in order to ensure the integrity of management measures, and it was recognised as an exemplary act.
These four areas are located in the extended continental platform proposed by Portugal to the United Nations; three of them are located in the Azorean continental platform covered by the extension proposal (with the exception of Josephine seamount).
The Azorean Government’s, involvement and influence in this outcome, through the Department of Oceanography and Fisheries of the University of the Azores, was recognised and praised by those attending the meeting.


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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