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Horta ,  October 31, 2018

Gui Menezes says Regional Government is working to safeguard scientific employment

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology assured in Horta that scientific employment is a "concern" of the Regional Government. In this regard, he noted that the Government intends to create programme-contracts to be signed with regional researchers in the context of the future AIR Center and the future Atlantic Observatory, through negotiations with the Ministry of Science."
"The human resources for the sea and the research conducted in the Azores cannot be lost," Gui Menezes said, noting that "research centres are fundamental to ensure the development of the Region" and, in this context, the Government is undertaking efforts "to address the most pressing issues related to scientific employment."
The Regional Secretary spoke Tuesday at the Department of Oceanography and Fisheries of the University of the Azores in the context of the presentation of the project designated as "Mapping deep-sea biodiversity and Good Environmental Status in the Azores: assisting with the implementation of EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive" (MapGES).
This project, led by researcher Telmo Morato, contributes to the assessment of the Azores deep sea as well as to the implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) regarding the environmental state of the sea.
MapGES started in 2016 and will be for three years. It is funded by the Azores 2020 Operational Plan in the context of a call to support scientific research projects aligned with the RIS3 strategy, representing an investment of more than 148 thousand Euros.
Gui Menezes congratulated the work carried out by a team of 12 researchers, considering that this project is "very relevant for decision making."
MapGES "is very comprehensive and very relevant to the knowledge of deep-sea ecosystems, which correspond to the majority of our ocean ecosystem," said the Regional Secretary.
"This is a quality project because it involves teamwork," the government official said, stressing that "quality science is only done requires teamwork and the application of the most modern and cutting-edge techniques."
The MapGES research team participated in the Blue Azores Expedition ocean expedition, having discovered the “Luso” hydrothermal vent on “Gigante” seamount.
Enhancing the knowledge on biodiversity, especially on the most vulnerable marine species and the impact of climate change, developing new methodologies for assessing the state of the environment and identifying areas for marine conservation and blue growth are some of the goals of this project.
In his speech, Gui Menezes assured that the Regional Government "has undertaken efforts to consolidate scientific areas that are strategic for the Azores," noting that "the sea is one of these areas."
In this context, the government official stated that the results of the second call to support scientific research projects under RIS3, which "requires the hiring of doctorates, will be announced shortly." About twenty dozen projects are expected to be approved.
The government official stated that new rules have been published in the fisheries sector, such as the regulation of pole-and-line fishing, published this month. According to him, it "introduced more precautionary mechanisms." In the case of demersal species, "legislative measures are being prepared to prevent irreversible situations from the standpoint of the abundance and use of these resources."
As for the mapping of coastal habitats, the Regional Secretary also stated that the Government will launch a programme to monitor the habitats of several species and coastal areas, "which is currently under enormous pressure."


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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