MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
WHY THE AZORES?
The waters around the Azores contain some of the most important island, open-water, and deep-sea environments in the Atlantic. These fragile and irreplaceable marine ecosystems are under threat and need to be protected.
WHY MARINE PROTECTED AREAS?
A Marine Protected Area (MPA) is a clearly defined geographical area where a government has placed limits on human activity to protect important natural or cultural resources and achieve long-term conservation. MPAs are essential for safeguarding biodiversity and the health of marine ecosystems. They provide sanctuary for species to mature, reproduce, and help restore healthy populations within and beyond their borders. Marine protected areas also build resilience against threats such as climate change and pollution by maintaining vital natural processes, storing carbon, and buffering coastlines.
By safeguarding these unique underwater ecosystems through fully protected marine reserves, the Azores can build a thriving sustainable blue economy and offer more opportunities to the communities of the archipelago that depend on a healthy ocean.
The Regional Government of the Azores has begun a stakeholder engagement process that will count on the direct participation of the communities that use the Sea of the Azores, sharing their interests and knowledge to be considered in designating the Marine Protected Areas.
Based on the best available science and transparent collaboration, this participatory process is the opportunity and moment for the Azoreans that know and use their sea to participate in the process of its protection and management.
Bigger, more abundant fish
Improved fishing & tourism livelihoods
Improved ecosystem resilience in the face of climate change & pollution
More jobs & opportunities for future generations of Azoreans