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Horta ,  January 25, 2011

Considerable area of the central Atlantic will be under the management of the Azores in April

The Regional Secretariat for the Environment and the Sea stated at the Azorean Parliament on Tuesday that a “considerable area” of the central Atlantic will be under the management of the Azores, starting next April.

This is the outcome of the decision taken in Bergen (Norway) in September 2010 by the Ministers of the Contracting Parties to the Oslo-Paris Convention, who have decided to establish six Deep Sea Protected Marine Areas in the Northeast Atlantic, the implementation area of the OSPAR Convention.
According to Álamo Meneses, the Bergen deliberation, which comes into force on April 12, establishes for the first time in the history of this area, six protected marine areas located in international waters, three of which “have been placed under the management of the Autonomous Region of the Azores.”

The fact that only one of these marine areas has an area of about 95,000 square kilometres, which is higher than the Portuguese territory, clearly demonstrates the importance of the management that was assigned to the Azores in these three Deep Sea Protected Maritime Areas, added the Regional Secretary.

Speaking before the Legislative Assembly during an interpellation to the Government on “the conceptualisation and operationalisation of an Azorean strategy to protect and exploit the Azores,” presented by parliamentary representation of PPM (Popular Monarchy Party), Álamo Meneses assured that these are “important issues” for the Government as well as to the self-government bodies of the Region.

For the Secretary for the Environment and the Sea, these are also “essential issues for the future” of the Region as the Azores Sea is considerably larger, with more resources than the land area of the archipelago.
Moreover, he also reminded that the intervention of the self-government bodies in the Azores Sea “has undergone a significant change” after the last constitutional review and the subsequent statutory review.

“Previously we had a minor intervention in sea affairs,” the Regional Secretary stated, adding that “despite we have maintained a situation of shared management,” it is clear that the Azores “may and should intervene” at a legislative and administrative level on the issues related to the sea and its various dimensions.

Álamo Meneses also revealed that the Region,” taking advantage of these new powers,” has legislated in areas such the licensing of maritime public domain, sand extraction, underwater archaeology and the framework law for Azorean fishing. At the present moment, the establishment of the Azores Marine Park is under public discussion, “which is the corollary of the entire creation process of marine protected areas.”


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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