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Porto Formoso ,  September 02, 2017

Azores are one of the most studied regions on possible environmental impacts of deep-sea mining

"For the first time in the history of ocean exploration," we are debating "the impacts of an activity before being carried out," the Regional Directorate for Maritime Affairs said, alluding to deep-sea mining.
 
"At this moment, before starting an industrial activity, policy-makers, politicians and the society have the opportunity to debate, know and better study the impact that are foreseeable for this activity and design measures that can minimise these environmental impacts."
 
The Regional Director spoke in Porto Formoso at a debate on "Sea and Sustainability," an initiative held the Azores Burning Summer festival. He stated that, about a decade ago, it was discovered that "Azores sea contained geological resources rich in polymetallic minerals at 1,500 metres deep."
 
However, Filipe Porteiro called for the fact there is yet no industrial exploration of polymetallic sulphide massifs, adding that there is "no well-defined technological development" to render this activity "profitable."
 
The Regional Director assured that the "Region is on the right track with regard to the research on the environmental impacts of deep-sea mining, highlighting the involvement of several regional scientific teams in international projects such as ATLAS or MIDAS ( (Managing Impacts of Deep-Sea reSource exploitation).
 
"There are ongoing several projects for the recovery of the deep-sea environment," the government official added, noting that "the Azores have a specialised scientific team in this field that provides technical and scientific advice to the International Seabed Authority."
 
Under the environmental policies for the sea, Filipe Porteiro stressed the Regional Government's work in designating protected areas within the Azores Marine Park with the purpose of preserving fragile and unique ecosystems, such as hydrothermal fields, namely Menez Gwen, Lucky Strike and Rainbow. In this regard, he emphasised the importance of "adaptive management."
 
The Regional Director also stated that not only environmental impacts should be evaluated, but also the social and economic impacts that this activity may have in the Region.


GaCS/GM
 
 
 
 
 
   
 

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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