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 Focused on the areas between the coastline and 6 nautical miles.


Focused on the areas between 6 and 200 nautical miles from the coast.

The 6 nautical mile limit was based on existing legislation regulating fishing activity, distinguishing between coastal and local fishing. Since users and usage intensity differ, the 6-mile limit was accepted to differentiate the coastal process from the oceanic process.


Acting with the conviction that the involvement of sea users is essential for building the future of our ocean, Blue Azores organized sessions on the islands of Santa Maria, Graciosa, and São Jorge in early 2023.

The coastal participatory process will be resumed shortly.



participants in

3 Public Sessions


participants in 3 meetings with

Fishermen's Associations


participants in 3 local meetings with Fishermen's Associations


preparatory meetings with municipalities


Public Clarification Session

  • Informing the population about the coastal program and participatory process

  • Creating an opportunity for the local population to express their views on the future of marine conservation

  • Clarifying the functioning of the participatory process

  • Encouraging participants who do not feel represented by any entity or association to join the working session

Work Session - Communities of Practice

After gathering information on how the coastal zones adjacent to each island are utilized, a participatory model was chosen to promote the engagement and interest of stakeholders in being part of the co-creation process of new coastal marine protected areas - Communities of Practice (CoPs).

What are Communities of Practice?

Based on the learning theory of Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger, Communities of Practice (CoPs) encourage the construction of collective knowledge and problem-solving through interaction among members.

By integrating these communities into participatory processes, collective knowledge is leveraged, inclusion is promoted, and more robust and consensus-driven decisions are made, aiming to make the participatory process more meaningful and fair.

In the case of the Coastal Participatory Process, the CoPs rely on the participation of members of institutions and associations committed to representing, in the best possible way, the users of the islands' coastal sea.


The selection of entities present in the second session is carried out by municipalities, members of the oceanic participatory process working group, as well as participants identified during the public clarification session, with the aim of including representatives of user groups and/or activities not previously covered.

In the Community of Practice, two exercises are carried out:

Exercise 1:

  • Promote interaction between participants.

  • Familiarize participants with existing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and their different protection statuses.

  • Identify flaws in the management, implementation of MPAs and problems at the limits of these areas.


Exercise 2:

  • Promote interaction between participants in the work session.

  • Familiarize participants with the results of the “Coastal Ocean Use Mapping” survey.

  • Identify information gaps and validate the areas represented.


Santa Maria | 30-31 Jan 2023

Graciosa | Mar 6-7 2023

São Jorge | Mar 16-17 2023

Screenshot 2024-01-23 at 16.20_edited.png

Azores Coastal Mapping (2023) 

This report, developed by the Blue Azores program in 2022 in cooperation with Universidade dos Açores e a National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), and University of California, Santa Barbara, presents the results of the responses obtained in the participatory mapping survey, which made possible the assessment of the coastal areas patterns of use in the Azores. In total, 2,483 responses were collected that represent ocean use patterns of 5,050 individuals from all sectors. 

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