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Horta ,  January 31, 2020

Regional Government begins process of restructuring network of marine protected areas

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology stated in Horta that the Regional Government "intends to involve the Azorean society" in the process of restructuring the archipelago's network of marine protected areas.

Gui Menezes spoke at the opening session of the initial meeting of the restructuring process of the Network of Marine Protected Areas of the Azores (RAMPA), stressing that “the primary goal is to make biodiversity conservation compatible with maritime activities.”

This meeting was intended to present a plan for the definition, discussion and implementation of the new RAMPA as well as to create a working group with representatives of the main regional sectors linked to the sea. It will be responsible for monitoring and participating in the works to be carried out until 2021.

According to Gui Menezes, “the active and critical involvement of stakeholders is essential for this process to move forward."

"We intend to involve people and institutions pursuing activities linked to the sea, but this process should also involve the Azorean society in general," said the government official.

Speaking to journalists, the government official said that, according to scientific data, "it is necessary to increase marine protected areas (MPAs) and their relevance" as well as "to improve their management."

"We have been accumulating scientific capital over the years in the Azores, which is essential to support this whole process," stressed Gui Menezes.

The Regional Secretary recalled that the Regional Government has carried out “structural reforms in sea policies" throughout this legislative period. In this regard, he added that the network of MPAs "is a management tool that is not solely aimed at the conservation of biodiversity, as it also has implications, for example, in improving the income generated from fisheries and in reconciling the various uses of the sea, such as maritime-tourist activities.”

"We must improve the management of the marine territory so that all activities may have their space," said the government official.

According to Gui Menezes, “one of the major challenges” in sea policies concerns “the maintenance of marine environmental quality and the development of economic growth linked to fishing, maritime tourism, diving or aquaculture.”

The restructuring process of MPAs in the Azores is coordinated by the Regional Directorates for Sea Affairs and Fisheries. Moreover, it involves the "Blue Azores" and "LIFE Azores Natura" projects with the technical-scientific support of OKEANOS and other research centres at the University of the Azores.

At today's meeting, the Working Group will issue a Declaration of Commitment to support decision making in the context of the restructuring process of the Network of Marine Protected Areas of the Azores.


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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