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The physical actions of this 5-year project will be developed around the continuous evaluation of the target species conservation status and their relations with fisheries in terms of by-catch and other potential conflicts. A large-scale monitoring program will be established to monitor the evolution of the target species and to analyse simultaneously the success and effectiveness of the different concrete actions that will be implemented. Other means involved in the present project include facilities such as offices, laboratories, rehabilitation centres and vehicles/boats of other project members as well as their relevant databases, GIS (Geographical Information System), satellite imagery, etc. The main lines of action include:
  1. Elaborating the proposal of new Natura 2000 network offshore areas and their management plans with reference to associated species.
  2. Creating a monitoring GIS tool, which integrates existing databases and opportunistic observations of interest groups (fishermen, maritime police, etc.) and that will contribute to the future development of a series of cost-efficient long-term research programmes.
  3. Refining the information on the target species populations and implementing standardized and cost-effective census methodologies that may allow a constant long-term surveillance mechanism of their conservation status.
  4. Evaluating the actual scenario of conflict with fisheries in order to address and produce dedicated solutions that contribute to the reduction of this problem.
  5. Implementing good practices and by-catch mitigation solutions in Portuguese fisheries and demonstrate their contribution to the long-term fisheries sustainability associated with the conservation of important marine protected species.
  6. Developing a large-scale public awareness programme.

A. Preparatory Actions, elaboration of management plans and/or action plans

Action A.1Action A.2Action A.3Action A.4Action A.5Action A.6Action A.7Action A.8

Action A.1: Data compilation and harmonization of GIS platforms already in use by the different teams in the project

GIS tools are nowadays essential to the management of marine protected species, allowing for the integration of data collected during monitoring campaigns with data provided by other sources, such as physical characteristics (slope, temperature, depth, distance to the continental shelf, distance to ports) and other biological variables (chlorophyll, prey abundance, productivity). Although part of these datasets are already available, they exist in incompatible formats scattered through the several partners involved in the project. The harmonization and inter-availability of all datasets is therefore essential to the project’s planning and for the future implementation of both management and monitoring actions of the target species and protected areas.

This action will allow structuring several databases containing information in collected during field campaigns and their transcription to GIS being also possible to include the information collected by the several teams since the year 2000. A report presenting the data bases and the GIS will be elaborated and this will act as the user’s guide. The expected result of this action will be a set of standardized and interrelated data sets, which will be individually available to each partner, to be used in the following actions. Databases will be accessed on the internet so that the whole information is in the same location, although a copy of this information will be periodically sent to each partner so that everyone can use the most updated datasets.

The use of the same GIS tool by all partners will produce standardized GIS datasets. The GIS analysis structure will be constantly improved along the project, and it will be crucial in the analysis of the target species distribution. The same tool will be vital to the identification of the most important oceanic areas to the different species, allowing for the comparison of the results obtained according to each different area.


Action A.2: Estimates of abundance and distribution of the target species and Technical Planning, method calibration anda baseline information

This action is clearly related with the abundance estimate of target species in the study area and evaluation of their use of space in order to obtain base line information. At the same time efforts will be made to inter-calibrate the use of different methodologies, in order to ensure that less expensive census techniques could be implemented in an effective way, without losing accuracy.

Large-scale surveys are extremely expensive. Several recommendations have pointed out that undertaking such surveys at regular but longer intervals (e.g. 10 years) in combination with more regular, cheaper smaller scale local visual and/or acoustic surveys is appropriate. Developing such a surveillance/monitoring program is not simple, but it’s necessary.These monitoring efforts will refer to the estimates of cetaceans and seabirds. To ensure fewer expenses they will use the same sampling platforms.

The survey areas for the present action will be divided into two regions: until the 50 nm and between 50 nm and 200/300 nm. For each area, three strata will be defined.

The census metodologies will be divided in:

Dedicated boat census

The survey platform will be the same for cetaceans and birds. In the case of cetaceans the metodology will follow the recomendations issued by SCANS II and in the case of seabirds, census will follow the methodology implemented in the Life IBAs (ESAS methodology). This methodology will be use only once to perform a large survey effort in offshore continental waters.

Dedicated aerial census

The survey platform will be the same for cetaceans and birds. Aerial surveys will be conducted during the same period of time of the boat dedicated survey. The area will be divided into 5 geographic strata. One survey stratum could usually be surveyed within 1 or 2 days (5 to 9 h of flying). The methodology will follow standard line transect distance sampling techniques. Surveys will flow at 100 knots (185 km/h–1) at an altitude of 400 ft (120 m) in a Partnavia P68 , a twin engine, high-wing aircraft equipped with 2 bubble windows to allow scanning directly underneath the plane.

Opportunistic platform surveys

Platforms of opportunity have been proven to contribute to the body of knowledge about cetaceans and seabirds, especially when data is collected by trained personnel following standard procedures. At the present project, they will be used to survey the areas until the 50 nm but also until the 200/300 nm. Some surveys days may occur outside this area. Different types of vessels can be used for data collection, including whale watching vessels, ferries, fishing boats (specially trawlers and longliners) and cruise liners. Other research boats operating in the study area are also good platforms of opportunity. Although cruise ships have served as platforms of opportunity in the past, there is still a huge potential for the scientific community to take advantage of the now almost continual presence of cruise ships in all ocean areas. The methodologies that will be implemented in theses surveys will be simplified forms of the dedicated survey techniques (Scans, ESAS techniques).

Census from Mainland Vantage points


A scan sampling method, taking sampling ‘points’ will be adopted, scanning the sea area viewable from each of the observation platforms. A minimum of 17 sampling points will be estimated along the Portguese coast. Scan sampling entails taking a ‘point’ or ‘instantaneous’ sample of an individual’s location or behaviour.


The methodology that will be used is similar to the RAM methodology (Iberian Seabird and Marine Mammal Monitoring Network). The only difference is that the census will be performed in any day of the month and not on the first Saturday of each month. This methodology is a format of a vantage point technique. It is necessary an effort of 3 hours (with a minimum effort of 1 hour). The minimal number of surveyors is 2 and the census can be performed simultaneously with the cetacean’s census.

Inter-calibration analysis and relation of data with oceanographic, geographic and human pressure variables

Inter-calibration protocols are not frequent due to the cost of implementing all survey techniques at the same time. However they are a crucial effort, when the objective is to implement a surveillance/monitoring mechanism, which has the aim to produce good quality data with a small money investment. Census in platforms of opportunity and vantage point censuses are techniques much less expensive than dedicated boat surveys and may be accurate enough if performed by trained observers. However, a comparison with a dedicated boat survey is necessary to ensure the quality of data and a full evaluation of their statistical performance.

The results for this action are already available.


Action A.3: Evaluation of the interactions between target species and fisheries. Technical planning, calibration and baseline data collection

Portuguese fisheries are an important economic activity, particularly with respect to coastal communities. Considering the strong traditional character of fishing in Portugal, there are numerous types of fishing methods, which vary regionally according to technology and and operation of the fishing gear.
The interactions between fishing operations and cetaceans have been frequently recorded involving almost all types of gears, with severe consequences to the fishing economy and also to the conservation of several marine animal species. The incidental captures in fishing gears constitute a worldwide problem, affecting several marine species, particularly cetaceans. Such interactions may refer to two different situations: the incidental capture of cetaceans during fishing operations and predation by cetaceans upon fish in fishing gears, which leads to the loss of potential landings and to the damage of the fishing gear.
In Portugal, information about the intensity of incidental captures of cetaceans in the whole country is still lacking. However, as a member of the EU, Portugal is obliged to apply measures to obtain data on cetacean incidental captures.
In what concerns seabird by-catch, the lack of data from Portuguese Fisheries is even more dramatic. In fact, efforts to evaluate this problem are very scarce and concentrated on certain regions where stranded marine birds are frequent.
The surveillance system of target species by-catch to be applied in MARPRO is composed of four different methods: inquiries to fishermen, analysis of stranded carcasses, boat observers and the Electronic Surveillance. All these methods have never been used simultaneously with a national coverage, so this coordinated action will allow to compare results among methods and identify the degree of possible complementarity in order to provide a coherent view of the dimension of the problem off mainland Portugal.


Action A.4: Best Practices Manuals according to the different fisheries

There is already sufficient evidence confirming the occurrence of cetaceans and seabird by-catch in numerous trawl, gill-net, longline and purse-seine fisheries in many parts of the world. However, few surveillance efforts have described the nature of these encounters, or quantified them in any detail. Operational interactions occur when both marine animals and commercial fishing activities converge on the same spatially retracted school of fish. In doing so, cetaceans and seabirds come into direct physical contact with the fishing gear, which may ultimately result in their injury or death
The code of good practice and their respective manuals will be joint efforts to ensure a fisheries commitment to fulfilling its environmental responsibilities and ensuring that vessels and crews operate in a responsible manner, consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development. These Codes of Practice present all details on the processes and actions that may be established to maximize the successful mitigation of interactions with endangered, threatened, and protected species (ETP), in accordance with world’s best practices.

The Best Practices Manuals according to the different fisheries are already available for download.


Action A.5: Proposal of Natura 2000 offshore areas and their management plans with reference to associated species

This action will aim at the proposal of new potential Natura 2000 Network network marine offshore areas and at the elaboration of their management/conservation plans with particular reference to their associated target species. The proposal of new potential Natura 2000 Network areas including their design, management plans and surveillance plans, will require a close cooperation among researchers, decision makers and “ocean users”, particularly those related with the use of offshore areas. In Portugal, the process of designation of SCI at national level is based on the proposal of a specific site by theMinistry of Environment and Spatial Planning which is then subject to adoption by the Government (through the Council of Ministries), following a public consultation with major stakeholders. After this adoption, ICNB(Institute for Nature Conservation and BiodiversityMinistry of Environment and Spatial Planning) proposes the national site to the European Commission.
This project will represent an effort to comply with the European Union obligations that calls on Portugal to propose protection areas for Phocoena phocoenaTursiops truncatus and Puffinus mauretanicus in order to ensure their favourable conservation status.
Presently no offshore Natura 2000 Network network areas are defined either for cetaceans or seabirds within the Portuguese EEZ. In order to accomplish a suitable proposal and design of SCIs and SPAs for these animal groups, management plans referring to those areas and species must be elaborated considering their spatial and nutritional requirements, among other factors that may constrain their populations. The efficiency of a marine protected area as a conservation mechanism depends upon its correct designation, design, management, surveillance and monitoring. In those areas where economic activities are extremely important, the social acceptance of marine protected areas are crucial and they cannot be perceived as impositions. A consensual management, where “ocean users” are involved and aware of the benefits of a sustainable use of resources is of the utmost importance.


Action A.6: Evaluation of the stranding network performance and marine animals rehabilitation centres in Portugal

The stranding and the rehabilitation networks are essential mechanisms in any surveillance program and they are essential tools to understand mortality causes and to evaluate the health status of target species. Unfortunately, these networks are only effective if they are well managed and if they are able to respond immediately to unpredictable events.
Therefore, this action aims at evaluating the performance of the several stranding teams, which contribute to the marine animals stranding networks in Portugal. This action also aims at defining standardized protocols on:

  1. collecting data;
  2. evaluating by-catch on stranded animals and
  3. performing high-quality sampling to meet tissue banks standards.

In addition, this action will lead to the elaboration of a document compiling a description of the facilities dedicated to the rehabilitation of marine animals in mainland Portugal, an evaluation of their performance and procedure protocols in case of rescue and rehabilitation of marine animals. Common lines of work will be proposed to regulate the construction, implementation and improvement of structures, logistics and equipments.


Action A.7: Competition among pelagic fisheries, marine mammals and seabirds for small pelagic fish

Small pelagic fish (SPF, mainly sardines and anchovies) have life history characteristics and ecological preferences that permit them to attain large population sizes, thus forming an important component in the structure and dynamics of pelagic ecosystems. Due to their large abundance and high fat content, SPFconstitute a significant component of the diet of several marine mammals and seabirds. Simultaneously, SPFform the target of large, dedicated pelagic fisheries for human consumption, transformation and reduction purposes. As such, there is a large potential for competition among marine mammals, seabirds and pelagic fisheries for the same prey species that needs to be understood and taken under consideration in management measures related to conservation and fisheries regulation.
In Portugal, the purse seine fishery for SPF contributes approximately 50-60% of mainland Portugal annual landings. This fishery has a history of about a century and currently consists of around 135 vessels.
The aim of this action is to evaluate the degree of biological interaction through competition for food resources between the Portuguese purse seine fishery and the main target species of this project, and to use this information in the management measures to be taken for conservation and fishery regulation. This will be achieved by:


  1. Describing the contribution of SPF in the diet of the main target species;
  2. Estimating the annual consumption of SPF by the main target species and comparing with quantities landed annually in Portugal;
  3. Evaluating the spatial overlap between target species and SPF;
  4. Identifying the rates of spatial contact between predators as a function of prey availability.



A.8 Action: Defining a plan for a Financial Mechanism Support

By the end of the project data has been collected will provide a correct assessment of the consequences of interactions between fishing gear and the communities of cetaceans and seabirds. At the same time have been able to create and test a system that allows a business to make fishing more sustainable. Finally we also have a monitoring system that will enable researchers and authorities to obtain reliable data on the evolution of populations of target species that will support the definition and management of Natura 2000 Network in marine areas. 
However, the feasibility and applicability of these systems over the long term should be guaranteed after the project is completed. For example, after the end of the project hope that fishermen continue to use systems of reduced catches and implementing codes of good practice particularly in fishing gear that produce higher yields (like drag). However, in the case of local fishing implementation of mitigation measures may not be economically sustainable. Therefore, considering that the continuation of actions initiated by MARPRO after its expiration may not be accessible by some fisheries, considering the constant innovations in mitigation measures and regulations, and considering that restrictions / impositions of areas closed to fishing are not viable during the period of time MARPRO a financial support mechanism will be developed in order to ensure continuity in the medium / long term actions initiated.


C. Concrete Conservation Actions

Action C.1: Implementation of Best Practices Manuals according to fishing gear type

The manual containing the Codes of Practices for each fishery was defined in the Action A4, based on information collected during the Action A3 and meetings made with the fishermen and decision makers. The present action corresponds to the implementation of the above-mentioned manual.



Action C.2: Implementation of mitigation measures in fishing gears (pingers, gear modification)

Unintended catch of non-target organisms in fishing gear may be reduced by applying operational and technical mitigation measures. Operational measures include implementation of codes of good practices (addressed in Action C1), time and/or area regulations of fishing effort and gear use. Technical mitigation measures can be the use of deterrent/alert devices and gear adaptations/modifications.
By-catch mitigation solutions are not universal and differ among gears, fisheries, ocean region, and by-catch taxa. Therefore, nearly all fisheries have to test mitigation measures experimentally and figure out what works best in their fishing practices and improve the already developed solutions, into systems that adapt to the Portuguese scenario.
So the present action, corresponds to the implementation of a set of mitigation actions, following the results obtained in the Action E3 and recommendations that were issued in its surveillance/monitoring program. The success of this action will be evaluated by the Action E3.



Action C.3: Improvement of marine animals stranding and rehabilitation networks in mainland Portugal

In this action the main objective is to improve the response capabilities of the two stranding networks that presently exist in Portugal. One of the networks is related with dead strandings while the second one is related with the live strandings (both for marine mammals, seabirds and sea turtles). In order to improve the effectiveness of the current stranding networks, several upgrades in methodologies and equipment are necessary, thus increasing the detection of animals and response to strandings along the Portuguese coast.


D. Public Awareness and Dissemination of Results

Action D.1Action D.2Action D.3Action D.4Action D.5Action D.6Action D.7Action D.8

Action D.1: Dissemination program

Firstly, we will define a working group for the dissemination of results within the project framework. This group will include teachers, researchers, media technicians, etc., from several organizations involved in the project (Higher Education centers, Scientific and environmental NGOs, State Labs and Institutions). These people will define the main guidelines and ideas for all actions included in this section (described below) thus guaranteeing their scientific and didactic soundness. All of these actions should aim mainly at raising the awareness and engaging the general public and “ocean users” in the conservation of the protected target species off mainland Portugal.

The animals focused on this project are very charismatic and attractive, both for the general public and ocean “users”. They will be used as the main theme in the development of dissemination materials targeting coastal communities at first, particularly those areas where fisheries are of major socioeconomic importance. However, this program will also reach the rest of the country since some of the actions in the dissemination program are broad range (documentary, Itinerary exhibit, conferences/workshops, etc). This program aims at creating a link between the audience and the conservation of the target species by leading the audience to accept and to socially support the project's conservation actions
Dissemination materials are:
An illustrated guide with a multimedia version, several posters, a flag, stickers, postcards, T-shirts and caps, leaflets, a video documentary and notice boards (Action A.8).

Dissemination actions will include general public seminars, seminars dedicated to fishermen, scientific seminars and a itinerary exhibition.



Action D.2: Educational program

The animals focused on this project are very charismatic. They will be used as the main theme in the development of didactic materials suitable for the high school levels of our educational system. Although it could be applied at national level, within the project time frame it will be used only in some of the schools of the most important fishing ports in Portugal. This new educational program will provide teachers with an environmental educational tool, which main objective is to bring students closer to marine ecosystems. This program will contain a teacher/student dossier and materials developed within the project dissemination section as well.



Action D.3: Volunteer program

There is a large amount of people that cannot be considered as ocean “users” and nonetheless are interested in actively participating ocean environment conservation. The volunteer program offers these people the opportunity to participate in the research, educational and conservation actions within the project.



Action D.4: MARPRO Competition for the development of fishing gear that reduces by-catch

This action is designed to inspire innovative ideas for environmentally-friendly fishing gears that might contribute in the future to reduce by-catch levels. The main objective is searching for new designs for fishing devices that reduce bycatch, real-world fishing solutions that allow fishermen to fish 'smarter' by better targeting their intended catch while safeguarding the dolphins, seabirds and sea turtles or any other marine life often caught unintentionally.

The results of this action are available at the LIFE+ MarPro Award Page.



Action D.5: Result dissemination program

The dissemination of the results obtained from the application of the specific conservation actions is one of the project's priorities. We aim at implicating the public in the sustainable management of the marine environment, by bringing people closer to conservation actions and by promoting a cooperation attitude, which will support the continuation of the project's actions once the demonstration project is finished. Since all target species are very charismatic, they will be used to create a link between stakeholders, science and the public.



Action D.6: Web site

The Internet has been widely used by the proponent entities and it is a powerful tool in dealing with the media and also in managing or monitoring several simultaneous actions. The dissemination of the results obtained from the application of the specific conservation actions is one of the project's priorities along with interacting with similar projects worldwide. We aim at implicating the public in the sustainable management of the marine environment, by bringing people closer to conservation actions and by promoting a cooperation attitude, which will support the continuation of the project's actions once the demonstration project is finished. Within the project webpage, there will be a section targeting the general audience with all kinds of data concerning the project, target species, threats, the importance of fisheries and also information on how to get involved in the project's actions. The web page will act as an important support of several stages and actions of the project.

Finally the web page will be the home of a digital repository targeting the Project objectives that will allow distribution and dissemination of scientific papers, thesis and technical reports made by the team members and other colleagues and partners that want to embrace the free access and distribution of information according to the Open Access international regulations.



Action D.7: Layman's report

The Layman's report (printed version and ebook) shall be 10-page long and will present the highlights of the project, its objectives, its actions and its results to the general public. It shall be presented in English and in Portuguese. It will be written in an accessible language without scientific terms and it will be visually attractive (colour with photographs, descriptions and technical details suitable for a wide range of readers). It will also be available on the internet page for download.



Action D.8: Notice Boards



E. Overall project operation and monitoring

Action E.1Action E.2Action E.3Action E.4Action E.5Action E.6Action E.7Action E.8


Action E.1: Project management (administrative, technical and financing)

The project's concrete conservation actions and the proposal of new Natura 2000 Network marine offshore areas require the involvement of a very wide-ranging group of organizations, from local fishermen to law issuing governmental authorities. In fact, all parties must be consulted and issues must be debated at different levels in what could become a rather complex process. Therefore, several commissions will be created to ensure a coherent coordination of the project: executive commission, consultant commission and stake-holders commission. At the same time working groups will be defined. These working groups are intermediate decision entities that will be responsible for coordinating the execution of the different actions promoted by the project. The persons on each group will be members of the staff of each partner. The working groups are:

  • WG1 – Abundance, distribution and habitat use;
  • WG2 – Interactions with Fisheries;
  • WG3 – Stranding and Rehabilitation Networks ;
  • WG4 – GIS and modelling;
  • WG5 – Marine Offshore Natura 2000 areas;
  • WG6 – Sustainable Financial Mechanism and After Life Program;
  • WG7 – Diffusion and education.

EXECUTIVE COMMISSION: The executive commission of this project will secure the project's governance procedures and it will be constituted by:

  1. UA-DeBio/CESAM coordinator of the Project;
  2. One project manager and 1 project officer;
  3. One representative from each of the project's partners: UM/CBMA, SPEA, IPIMAR and ICNB.

CONSULTANT COMMISSION: The consultant commission will include national and international experts in areas such as: population ecology and census of target species, implementation of fisheries-marine animals conflict mitigation measures and on design/implementation of protected marine areas
STAKEHOLDERS COMMISSION: This commission will include the most important entities regarding the administration of marine environment and natural resources in Portugal (Ministry for the Environment, Spatial Planning and Regional Development; Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, Ministry of National Defence), project researchers, and ocean users of interest, including Producers Organizations.



Action E.2: evolution of the target species populations

The present action is the consequence of the surveillance/monitoring program defined in Action A2 and it is one of the mechanisms to evaluate the success of the implementation of the Concrete Actions. The methodologies that will be implemented in this action are the same that were presented in the Action A2, except for the dedicated boat census (only used to estimate baseline information and to help inter-calibrating methods).
During the years of the implementation of the Concrete Actions, it is necessary to ensure a constant surveillance of its success. Evaluating how target species are reacting to the conservation efforts and concrete actions is vital. Abundances, distribution and habitat use estimates will allow the project to check what are the consequences at the population level.
This info is also necessary to understand how populations are changing along 5 years. This will be a major contribution for the process of defining future Natura 2000 Network marine areas, because time and inter-annual changes will be analysed before the definition of the new sites and their boundaries, which will be more realistic and will take into account the periodic natural shifts that occur in the habitat use by very mobile species, such as cetaceans and seabirds.



Action E.3: Surveillance of the interaction between fisheries and target species

The present action is the consequence of the surveillance/monitoring program that was defined in the Action A3 and it is one of the mechanisms to evaluate the success of the implementation of the Concrete Actions. The methodologies that will be implemented in this action are the same that were presented in the Action A3.
During the years of the implementation of the Concrete Actions, it is necessary to ensure a constant surveillance of its success. This is the second surveillance mechanism that will be implemented following the methodologies that were used to obtain base line data. With this action we will monitor the success of actions related with the used of Manuals of Good Practices an with the implementation of mitigation measures such as pingers or modifications to fishing gears.



Action E.4: Surveillance of marine animals strandings in mainland Portugal

The stranding and rehabilitation networks are the first line tools on the evaluation of population health status and causes of death. In fact, by-cacth mortality can be evaluated by monitoring programs such as interviews, on board observers and voluntary declaration, but natural mortality and health problems are very difficult to establish. Therefore, stranded animals are considered very important sources of data, that should be collected with great care and subsequent detailed analysis should be implemented. By doing this, it will be possible to contribute in great detail to the evaluation of Human induced mortality, but it may also contribute to the evaluation of other causes of mortality, such as predation, diseases, old age, nutritional and physical exhaustion, etc.
This action will be a natural consequence of the Action A6 and C3. In A6 the networks are evaluated and solutions to improve their efficiency are proposed. In C3, the logistics and their response performance will be improved.
This action will ensure high quality standards in both networks and also ensure that they will be operational, contributing with data to all other actions that clearly need detailed information on mortality and identification of factors influencing the target species.



Action E.5: Training courses for technicians, volunteers and other interested groups

The organization of specific training courses in some of the issues focused on this project will occur at two different levels: 1) basic training for volunteers and 2) technical training for more experienced personnel.
There will be several training courses, according to the actions in which the target audience will be involved, including observation methodologies, environmental education, target species rescue and rehabilitation and stranding network surveys. Therefore, the following courses will be organized:
Many of the actions to be developed in this project require a high amount of manpower with different levels of training. A very important aspect is the training of observers and the training on mitigation measures and good practices that will be applied by fishermen themselves. Another striking example is the rescue and rehabilitation or marine animals, which involves knowing what to do to a stranded animal at the beach, knowing how to handle the animal, how to achieve a successful transport. Considering all the possible variables, apart from the knowledge of experienced veterinarians other trained personnel is necessary during such events.



Action E.6: Networking with other on-going Life projects (Life Madeira II e Life INDEMARES)

Presently, several projects currently implemented deal with issues and threats similar to those that will be focused in the present project. The participation in international conferences, particularly the European Cetacean Society (ECS) conference, will allow for external meetings with representatives of such projects thus allowing for an exchange of experiences. For example, the TERMINATED LIFE+ project “INDEMARES” will evaluate over the next 5 years the possible protection of 10 marine offshore areas in Spain (Natura 2000 Network sites), aiming at the protection and sustainable use of the ocean biodiversity. The Project includes the cooperation of several reference organizations in the management, research and conservation of the marine environment. The most important exchange of ideas between MARPRO andINDEMARES will include data sharing on the evaluated marine areas, on the conflicts between fisheries and cetaceans and on the experience in educative/diffusion campaigns. Another TERMINATED LIFE+ project CETÁCEOS MADEIRA II aims at identifying special areas of conservation to be included in the Natura 2000 Network, including the surveillance of the conservation status of cetaceans occurring in the Madeira archipelago, with relevance to the bottlenose dolphin, and the evaluation of the carrying capacity referring to “whale watching” activities. The experience and expertise gained during the CETÁCEOS MADEIRA II will also be valuable to contribute to a successful development of our project.
The same networking activities will also be developed with other projects supported by National and International funds under implementation. Two of the already identified projects are MAIA and FAME projects (both supported by the Atlantic Area Trans-National Programme). These two projects are trans-national projects where 5 MARPRO partners (SPEAIPIMARUMCBMA and ICNB) are also involved.



Action E.7: Auditing of the project's financial report by an independent auditor

The annual financial reports of the project will be audited by an independent auditor, since such a procedure is obligatory by the standard administrative provisions of LIFE-NATURE projects. The action will be fully subcontracted to a relevant office of independent auditors, under a call-for-tenders procedure. The independent auditor will evaluate the finances of the coordinating beneficiary and of the other beneficiaries.



Action E.8: After-LIFE program

By the end of the project we will have a clear picture of the cetacean and seabird communities and their interactions with fisheries. We will also have established a system that allows fisheries to transform their work into environmentally sustainable activities. There will also be a surveillance system installed to allow researchers and the appropriate authorities to obtain reliable data on target species populations and interactions with fisheries, which in turn can be used in the definition and management of Natura 2000 Network marine areas.
Therefore an After-LIFE program will be defined, where the project team will identify the MARPRO actions that will be continued after the project is finished (the continued application and improvement of best practices in fisheries, the surveillance of the evolution of the target species populations and their interaction with fisheries, stranding networks and rehabilitation centers, training courses and networking). All these further actions will be implemented with no additional cost to the EU. Hopefully, the Financial Supporting Mechanism (FSM) developed during the Action A.8, will cover part of the costs of the new After-LIFE project. Furthermore, the executive and scientific commissions will also actively seek for additional funding to implement the actions in the After-LIFE Conservation Plan.



Last Modified: 30/12/2017

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