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Lajes das Flores ,  March 27, 2019

Azores are the region with the highest number of investments approved in the area of the Sea

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology announced in Lajes das Flores that "the Azores are the region of the country with the highest number of investments approved" in this area. The information was released in the recent report issued by the national commission responsible for monitoring the use of European structural and investment funds in operational programmes implemented in the area of the Sea (Integrated Territorial Investment, ITI Sea).
According to this report, the total eligible investment approved in the various national operational programmes amounts to 1.1 billion Euros, with the Azores representing 21% of the overall investment approved, i.e., nearly 240 million Euros.
"We have been undertaking efforts towards the creation of infrastructures in the archipelago through an smart use of Community funds," Gui Menezes said, stressing that this "work is bearing fruit."
The Regional Secretary spoke at the presentation of the project for the redevelopment and modernisation of the Lajes das Flores Cold Storage Unit. The ceremony was also attended by the President of the Government, Vasco Cordeiro.
Gui Menezes stressed that the redevelopment and modernisation of this infrastructure "represents a commitment made by the Government to Flores fishers with the aim of improving the working conditions of fishers and fish merchants.
The contract work for the redevelopment of Lajes das Flores Cold Storage Unit corresponds to an investment of 472 thousand Euros. The tender will be launched later this week and the works are expected to begin during the last quarter of this year.
As part of the efforts reinforce the regional network of cold storage units, Gui Menezes pointed out that the work for the improvement and expansion of Velas Cold Storage Unit on São Jorge Island is under way. This one million-Euro investment is expected to be completed by August.
Regarding Horta Cold Storage Unit, the government official stated that "the tender will be launched in coming days and represents an investment of three million Euros to be implemented throughout 2020."
The Regional Secretary also added that the tender for a new ice production and storage unit to be installed at Rabo de Peixe fishing port on the island of São Miguel has already been awarded, an investment of nearly 350 thousand Euros. The installation of this unit is scheduled for the second quarter of this year.
In his speech, Gui Menezes also highlighted the importance of investing in tuna, which "still has considerable growth potential in the archipelago." In this regard, the Government is preparing with industry partners a plan for the promotion of this species.
"We must move towards a new level to foster new ways of enhancing the value of our high quality wild tuna by providing training to our shipowners and fishers so that tuna may sold in added-value markets, which will boost the sector's income," said the government official.
Gui Menezes also announced that "Azorean tuna seiners will be able, for the first time, to catch bluefin tuna, the most valuable tuna species on the market."
In this context, the government official stated that, from March 28 to mid-July, "Azorean fishers will have a 55-tonne quota for bluefin tuna that may reach another 100 tonnes in bycatch."
"This is the result of the efforts undertaken by the Regional Government with the European Commission and with ICCAT - International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas in defence of sustainable pole and line fishing that is still practiced in the Region," 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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