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Horta ,  January 31, 2020

Regional Government reinforces sustainability factors of the Azores Sea, says Gui Menezes

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology stated in Horta that the decision to implement new protected marine areas, covering 15% more of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Azores, “fits into the international goals,” alluding to the Aichi Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Biodiversity and the Target 14 of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Gui Menezes also stated that the restructuring of the Network of Marine Protected Areas of the Azores (RAMPA), currently under way, falls within the "Blue Azores" project, being the result of a partnership between the Regional Government and Oceano Azul and Waitt foundations.

“The 'Blue Azores' project is a driving force in the restructuring process of the network of the archipelago's marine protected areas,” said the Regional Secretary.

Gui Menezes spoke at the opening session of the initial meeting of the RAMPA restructuring process. On the occasion, he stressed the pioneering spirit of the Azores in this matter, recalling that Portugal, on the Region's initiative, was the first country to designate a protected marine area outside the Economic Zone Exclusive: the Rainbow vent field.

The Regional Secretary added that, as part of the RAMPA restructuring process, several workshops will be held on all islands. According to him, it will be "an intense effort that requires the participation of society and institutions linked to the sea, reconciling various actors."

Asked by journalists about the developments of "Blue Azores," Gui Menezes stated that several initiatives have taken place, namely the presentation of the report on scientific expeditions sponsored by the Oceano Azul and Waitt foundations, which involved regional researchers, and the implementation of the "Educating for a Blue Generation" Ocean Literacy Programme in some regional schools.

The Regional Secretary also mentioned the creation, on the Regional Government's initiative, of a fishing restriction area around the Luso vent field; the latter was discovered during one of the "Blue Azores" expeditions.

Gui Menezes stressed that the Regional Government has made "structural changes" [in sea policies] during this legislative term, adding that there has been "a reinforcement of various sustainability factors, namely with regard to fisheries management."

In this regard, he pointed to the implementation of regional quotas for more vulnerable demersal species at the beginning of the year and the creation of fishing restriction areas in partnership with fishers. This is the case of the São Mateus fishing restriction area on the island of Terceira in a participatory process "from the bottom up."

“We have demonstrated that with less fishing, we have been able to manage our quotas more rationally and this has resulted in an increase in fishers' income,” said the government official.

The government official stressed that "there are more vulnerable species that need to be protected," noting that "the Region is reinforcing the sustainability factors of the Azores Sea with the support of management tools, such as the network 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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