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Horta ,  June 08, 2018

Regional Government and Blue Ocean Foundation to mark World Oceans Day on Western Group islands

The Azorean Government and the Blue Ocean Foundation, through the Blue Azores project, mark today the World Oceans Day on the island of Flores, an initiative that will be held again next Sunday, June 10, on the island of Corvo.
On these two days, several elementary school students aged between 6 and 10, accompanied by their teachers, will have the possibility of visiting the historic vessel "Santa Maria Manuela," which is on the Azores sea until June as part of a campaign to promote literacy about the oceans.
These visits to one of the classic "bacalhoeiro" (boat used to catch cod fish) belonging to the Portuguese white fleet that has fished in Terra Nova for several years aim to raise the awareness of children and young people for the importance of knowledge on the sea and for the protection and appreciations of the archipelago's marine environment. Currently, it is owned by the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Society.
The vessel was recently visited by more than 350 children from São Miguel and Faial Islands when "Santa Maria Manuela" travelled to these islands.
It has been in the Azores since the beginning of June to carry out the oceanographic expedition designated as "Blue Azores Expedition" with the aim of exploring and documenting marine biodiversity of Western Group islands. The latter are located on the American tectonic plate, contrary to the other islands of the archipelago.
The expedition, involving the participation of regional researchers, is primarily intended to contribute to the "informed conservation of the marine environment" in the archipelago, stated the Regional Director for Sea Affairs. In this context, he mentioned the plans for the production of documentaries that "contribute to the literacy of the oceans and to the dissemination of the Azores in the archipelago, in the country and on a global scale."
Filipe Porteiro stated that the "Blue Azores Expedition" will be also supported by the ship "Gago Coutinho," from the Hydrographic Institute of the Portuguese Navy, which is mapping the surrounding ocean floor of the islands of Corvo and Flores. Moreover, it will involve the Azorean research boat "Águas Vivas," which will soon join this fleet to map the coastal areas of both islands.
According to the Regional Director, the mapping will allow "an accurate programming of the exploration and documentation of marine biodiversity." It will be carried out by divers using autonomous scuba equipment in shallow areas, by the submarine robot "LUSO" of the Mission Structure for the Continental Shelf Extension, aboard the ship "Gago Coutinho," and by suspended underwater chambers; the latter were developed by IMAR researchers.
The "Blue Azores Expedition" is promoted by the Blue Ocean Foundation and the Waitt Foundation in partnership with the Regional Government, through the Regional Secretariat for the Sea, Science and Technology, National Geographic, IMAR, University of the Azores and the Azores Sea Observatory.


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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