CCMAR promotes the establishment of the first Marine Protected Area of Community Interest in Portugal
The Municipality of Silves, the Oceano Azul Foundation, the University of the Algarve through the Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), the Fishermen's Association of Armação de Pêra and the Town Council of Armação de Pêra, organized a meeting that included other local and regional entities to present the bases of the project to create a Marine Protected Area of Community Interest in the Bay of Armação de Pêra.
This project, based on a study carried out by our researchers that synthesizes the technical and scientific knowledge about this bay, is based on the recognition of the reef of Armação de Pêra Bay as one of the areas with greater marine biodiversity and productivity of the Algarve Coast. In fact, this bay benefits from particular conditions and emcompasses the largest coastal rocky reef in Portugal. However, this reef is impacted by several human activities, which may jeopardize the conservation of this important ecosystem.
Joined by the common interest and willingness to protect the extremely rich marine ecosystems of this reef, these entities aim to achieve sustainable use by promoting sustainable local fisheries and tourism, along with the preservation and protection of the bay's natural values, biodiversity and services (blue natural capital).
It was decided to propose an approach that would have as main focus the awareness and support of the various entities and agents of the Region, for the importance of the protection of the Bay of Armação de Pêra, with effective measures that promote the sustainability of resources and prevent the development of activities that may irreversibly affect this marine ecosystem, of great wealth for the Algarve and Portugal.
The working meeting was attended by 28 regional actors, namely municipalities, fishing associations and maritime tourism activities, representatives of the central administration, universities, state laboratories, non-governmental organizations, companies, etc. All these stakeholders were invited to express interest in participating in the development of this process that will take place during the next year.
The promoters have no doubt that the involvement of all interested parties is fundamental to finding the best way to preserve this ecosystem and its natural values, a condition that will also allow the sustainable economic development of the region and the country.
With this participatory process, it is intended to present a proposal to the Government for the creation of the Marine Protected Area of Community Interest of the Bay of Armação de Pêra over the next year.