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Horta ,  September 11, 2019

Gui Menezes highlights concertation between regional and National Governments on Fisheries, Science and Space

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology highlighted at the Legislative Assembly in Horta “the effort and concertation” between the Regional and National Governments on various matters, namely as regards Fisheries, Science and Space.
Regarding Fisheries, Gui Menezes noted the “full coordination” in the defence of the Azores' interests, pointing as example the distribution of the national alfonsino quota. It is now managed by the Regional Government at 85% and has been generating gains and income for the Azorean fishing fleet.” As he also emphasised, this concertation is quite clear in other matters pertaining to the Azores fisheries sector under discussion in Brussels.
The Regional Secretary spoke in an urgent debate about the impact of the policies pursued by the National Government on the Region in recent years. According to him, “there is concertation in terms of surveillance of the Azores Sea in the joint actions carried out by the Regional Inspectorate of Fisheries with the national authorities responsible for this area," namely GNR (National Republican Guard), the Maritime Police and DGRM (Directorate-General for Natural Resources, Safety and Maritime Services).
"From 2018 to the present, there was an increase of 325% in surveillance missions. Among them, there were 124 joint missions that have resulted in 238 inspections," stated the government official.
“Our maritime territory is vast and we would like to be endowed with more resources; however, it is fair to highlighted the effort that has been undertaken by these entities," added Gui Menezes.
The Regional Secretary further stated that vessels fishing in the Azores must comply with a number of requirements under EU law, such as MONICAP (a system that enables satellite monitoring) or electronic logbooks on board.
"Nowadays, it is possible to know how much was caught in a particular operation by a particular vessel," said the government official.
As for the Sea, more specifically the Atlantic Observatory, the Regional Secretary recalled the “establishment of the Installing Committee that drafted the first version of what will be the rationale of a project that stemmed after difficult negotiations.” In fact, this project has secured funding from the European Economic Area and Norway (EEA Grants) and is classified as a pre-defined project under this funding mechanism.
"About two million Euros are guaranteed to be invested in the Azores in the implementation of the Atlantic Observatory," said Gui Menezes.
“Unlike BE (Left Block), we do not defend that this Observatory should duplicate existing research centres,” said the government official. In this regard, he added that the Regional Government believes that this project could create “more capabilities in terms of providing more tools to regional and national research centres, and, ultimately, to producing more knowledge through networking.”
Regarding the weather radar to be installed in the Region by the Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA), Gui Menezes recalled that the process for the installation of the radar in Serra de Santa Bárbara on Terceira Island “is in progress.” The results of the public tender were made public in August.
About the weather radar to be installed on São Miguel Island, the government official stated that, "after clarifying some doubts, IPMA has resumed planning for its installation in Pico da Barrosa," as originally planned.
As regards Space, Gui Menezes recalled that we have managed to install the SST (Space Surveillance and Tracking) headquarters on Terceira Island, more specifically at TERINOV. The Network Operational Center (NOC) “will allow the establishment of qualified human resources" on that island.
During his speech, Gui Menezes further stated that “the concertation between the Regional and National Governments in the area of Space has led to the installation of the new 15-metre antenna, whose works were completed a few days ago, providing new services to Santa Maria's space cluster."
The Regional Secretary noted that the Region's participation in the newly created Portuguese Space Agency - "Portugal Space" is "not insignificant." In fact, the Regional Government is a founding partner together with the National Innovation Agency, the Foundation for Science and Technology and the Directorate General of National Defence Resources. The agency will be headquartered on the island of Santa Maria.
“These projects will generate dynamics over time, which will be very positive for our Region,” said the government official.
Gui Menezes also noted that the National Government's commitment to create the AIR Centre “is fulfilled,” noting that, under a resolution issued by the Council of Ministers in 2018, the sum of 5.2 million Euros is provided for the implementation of this centre on Terceira Island, where it has its headquarters.
The government official added that “the creation of the ESA_Lab @ Azores platform at the AIR Centre premises is “being finalised.” Moreover, "another resolution issued by the Council of Ministers determines the allocation of a sum amounting to 2.5 million Euros for the recruitment of six/seven human resources that will make the Earth Observation Group.”
Also, in the context of the AIR Centre, the Regional Secretary mentioned that there are plans to set up a group linked to the Marine Biodiversity Network node under a contract-programme between the Regional Government and the Foundation for Science and Technology.
“The AIR Center has already been included in more than 30 applications, together with other research centres from various countries, for programmes such as INTERREG and Horizon 2020. These projects involve the University of the Azores and regional researchers,” said Gui Menezes.


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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