ABOUT BLUE AZORES
Focused on the conservation and sustainable use of the Azorean Sea, the Blue Azores Program will contribute to protecting, promoting and valuing the rich marine resources of the archipelago.
THREE PARTNERS, ONE VISION
Blue Azores is the result of an international partnership between the Regional Government of the Azores, the Oceano Azul Foundation and the Waitt Institute, uniting in a single vision of a healthy Azorean Sea and a thriving ocean society.
Working closely with the scientific teams of Okeanos Institute | University of the Azores, this close partnership brings decades of scientific knowledge and expertise from the region to inform each aspect of the program and the implementation of marine protected areas.
Declare 30% of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Azores as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), of which 15% as fully protected areas
Prepare and implement management plans for all marine protected areas included in the Azores Marine Protected Areas Network (RAMPA), including existing MPAs
Develop and adopt a legally implemented "Marine Spatial Plan"
Develop restructuring measures for the fisheries sector
The program will also create new opportunities for sustainable economic development in the Azores, supporting Portugal and the Azores to achieve international objectives set by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (ODS) 14, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature).
Blue Azores is operationally supported through extended and specialised teams from the Oceano Azul Foundation and the Waitt Institute, as well as a permanent local team, which works directly with the Regional Government of the Azores and other institutions involved in the program.
Maria João Cruz
Conservation Project Manager of the Blue Azores Program, Maria João has been with Blue Azores from it’s launch in 2019. With a PhD in Marine Sciences, Maria João has lived in the Azores for over fifteen years and has worked at the University of the Azores doing scientific research related to the study of fisheries interactions with cetaceans. She is based on São Miguel island.
Born in Flores, Ana joined the Blue Azores Program in 2021 as a Consultant. Recognised for the strong civic involvement she has had over the years, particularly in the defence of the environment, Ana contributes her experience in the local social initiatives. She has a degree in Radiology and in European Studies and International Politics, with a Master's Degree in Social-Organizational Intervention in Health.
Operational and Information Manager of the Blue Azores Program. Adriano has a degree in Marine Biology and a Phd in Geography from the University of the Azores, where he called home for over 15 years. During his time in the archipelago, Adriano was involved in coastal and watershed environmental planning projects that also included stakeholders engagement. Adriano worked as an environmental consultant in the offshore oil and gas seismic survey industry and was a researcher at the University of Aveiro, where he was involved in several EU funded projects on Marine Spatial Planning, developing tools to assess environmental cumulative impacts of human activities on marine environments.