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The LIFE+ MarPro Project


One of the main constraints to the enlargement of the Natura 2000 network to marine environments is the lack of research on marine habitats and species far from the coast. Few organizations or institutions have the necessary means to undertake such work. The designation of SCIs has thus been affected by the lack of relevant data on specific species such as cetaceans and seabirds. An Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is an area stretching to 200 nautical miles from the coast, over which a state has special rights to marine resources. Portuguese EEZs include one of the highest abundances of common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in Europe and are an important wintering ground for the Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus).

A total of 7 SCIs (55 400 ha) and 7 SPAs (58 500 ha) have been created in the Portuguese coastal and marine environment. Nevertheless, political and logistical difficulties have led to a significant delay in drawing up further SCI proposals in costal and marine areas. There is also a small amount of information for implementing appropriate management measures for cetacean and seabird species.


Project Objectives

This project aims at:

  • Providing means for the implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directive with respect to cetaceans and seabirds, creating cost-effective instruments for the analysis and interpretation of the evolution of their conservation status and their habitats.
  • Elaborating the proposal of new Natura 2000 network offshore areas and their management plans with reference to Phocoena phocoenaTursiops truncatus and Puffinus mauretanicus.
  • Reducing the conflicts between fisheries and cetacean and seabird species by implementing solutions concerning by-catch and fish depredation, as well as understanding the complex relations between the exploitation of pelagic fishes and the conservation of protected species.
  • Creating bridges of understanding, for example, through the awareness campaign and the creation of the stakeholders commission, among relevant authorities, scientists, fishermen, new marine industries (such as energy producers) and the general public in order to promote a higher consensus in the implementation of the marine Natura 2000 Network, bringing all stakeholders and economical interested parties into the process of designing, managing and monitoring future marine SACs.
  • Ensuring the long-term socio-economic viability of the management, surveillance and monitoring activities of the target species and their habitats, together with the promotion of a sustainable exploitation of mn resources.

Find out a bit more about this project while you get to know about the Project Manangement and Structure or about this project's Actions


Last Modified: 12/11/2013

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