A Special Programme must now be developed to organise activities and defend entities such as the Oceano Azul Foundation.
The Oceano Azul Foundation, the Centre for Marine Sciences at the University of Algarve (CCMAR), and the Municipalities of Albufeira, Lagoa and Silves congratulated the Government on approving the classification of Pedra do Valado, the Algarve’s Natural Marine Reef Park.
This is the first Marine Protected Area in the country to be created in mainland Portugal in the 21st century.
The proposal to create this protected area consists of the marine area off the coast of Albufeira, Lagoa and Silves, spanning approximately 156 km2. It was presented to the Government in 2021 by the Oceano Azul Foundation and CCMAR.
This Marine Protected Area of Community Interest (AMPIC) had the active involvement of the municipalities of Albufeira, Lagoa and Silves, in addition to local fishermen’s associations, the hotel industry, maritime-tourist companies and non-governmental organisations, and is the result of a participatory process that involved around 80 entities.
Interest in creating this AMP was immediately and unanimously recognised in the Portuguese Parliament in July 2021. It is a decisive step to protect values and create conditions for a sustainable economy.
It is now necessary to move forward and develop a Special Programme to organise activities, identify and implement compensatory measures for economic activities affected by the creation of the AMP, and create measures to enhance the products and culture of these territories, say the entities involved.