Marine Protected Area of Community Interest in the Algarve | - CCMAR -

Marine Protected Area of Community Interest in the Algarve

On the coastline of the municipalities of Albufeira, Lagoa and Silves, lies the largest coastal rocky reef in the Algarve, a unique ecosystem in mainland Portugal, which benefits from natural conditions that favour unique marine biodiversity and productivity. However, the impacts of human activities may threaten the conservation and productivity of this important marine ecosystem.  

On November 28, 2018, at the Lota de Armação de Pêra, the CCMAR, the Oceano Azul Foundation, the Municipality of Silves, the City Council of Armação de Pêra and the Fishermen's Association of Armação de Pêra, publicly presented the basis for the creation of a Marine Protected Area of Community Interest in the Algarve: the Algarve Reef Marine Natural Park - Pedra do Valado.

Since then, in an unprecedented participatory process in Portugal, with the active involvement of the municipalities of Albufeira, Lagoa and Silves, several participatory sessions were promoted, where the basis of the project for the creation of AMPIC was discussed and developed. These meetings had the active participation of associations of fishing activities (recreational and professional) and maritime-tourism activities, representatives of regional and central administration, state laboratories, sports federations, school groups, non-governmental organizations, business associations, and others.

Joined by this common interest, the several entities aim to promote local fishing and sustainable nature tourism, along with the preservation and protection of natural values, biodiversity and services (blue natural capital), as well as encourage ocean literacy of local communities and visitors. The main focus is to raise awareness and support of the various entities and stakeholders in the region and to implement effective measures that promote the sustainability of resources and prevent the development of activities that affect this marine ecosystem.

The CCMAR is fully involved in the creation of AMPIC, and has conducted scientific background studies and organized participatory sessions. After more than two years of active involvement of the several entities involved, on February 5, 2021, the proposal for the creation of AMPIC in the region was presented, to be delivered to the government in March 2021.  The proposal for the creation of this marine area was delivered to the Portuguese Government in May 2021.

Presentation of the final proposal | AMPIC – Marine Protected Area of Community Interest in the Algarve | Videoconference February 5, 2021 

We renew our commitment to continue working on the central themes for the implementation of AMPIC, already identified in the participatory process, namely:

  • support measures for compensation of pecuniary losses in economic activities and other social measures;  
  • measures to enhance the value of fish and other activities;  
  • surveillance/inspection and monitoring mechanisms;  
  • co-management committee. 

The way in which local and regional organizations and communities have become involved in this process is an undoubted sign of responsible and hopeful citizenship for the development of the Algarve region and the country.