Proposal for the Marine Natural Park of Recife in the Algarve enters public discussion

Marine area of ​​the coast of Albufeira, Lagoa and Silves constitutes «one of the richest areas in terms of biodiversity at national level»

The proposed classification of Recife do Algarve – Pedra do Valado as a Natural Marine Park will be publicly discussed on 22 June, the Ministry of the Environment announced today, stressing that this area has “unique characteristics in terms of natural heritage”.

The Government approved the proposal on the 6th, at a meeting of State Secretaries, with the notice published in the Diário da República yesterday, the 7th. » of that publication, that is, on the next 10nd, «having a duration of 22 working days».

On Monday, the 5th, in Faro, the Minister for the Environment had already announced that the Government wants to have the Marine Natural Park of Recife do Algarve – Pedra do Valado officially created in January 2024, at the same time that it intends to have the mechanisms already approved and ready to operate to compensate local fishermen for any loss of income, due to the creation of this Marine Protected Area of ​​Community Interest.

On the same occasion, during the presentation of the proposal that took place at the Gambelas Campus of the University of Algarve, minister Duarte Cordeiro said that he would also details of the compensation that will be given to fishermen are being finalized, for possible income losses due to the creation of this Marine Park. «In October, we want to sign the compensation program contracts, so that we can place the value in the Environmental Fund for next year», explained the government official.

For his part, Jorge Gonçalves, a researcher at the Centro de Ciência do Mar do Algarve (CCMAR), who, along with the Oceano Azul Foundation, coordinated the entire process, explained to the Sul Informação than "fishermen will be entitled to compensation for any losses, which is not payment for what they may eventually lose. It is a value that has been agreed”.

The note from the Ministry of the Environment sent this Thursday, the 7th, to the newsrooms, highlights the unique characteristics of the area to be classified, saying that the marine area of ​​the coast of Albufeira, Lagoa and Silves constitutes «one of the richest areas in terms of biodiversity at national level, being one of the largest coastal rocky reefs in Portugal with unique natural values ​​in the context of the Portuguese coast».

In this natural reef, «commercial and recreational fishing activities and maritime-tourist activities are carried out with economic and social importance at the level of local communities».

In terms of geographic location and delimitation, the zone proposed to be classified includes the area between the Farol of Alfanzina, west limit, and the marina of Albufeira, totaling an area of ​​approximately 156 kilometers, in the municipalities of Albufeira, Lagoa and Silves.

«Considering that this area has unique characteristics in terms of natural heritage that justify a comprehensive and integrated protection status, and in order to guarantee the protection of nature and the ecological sustainability of the economic and social activities carried out there, the classification as marine natural park», adds the Ministry.

In the note released today, World Oceans Day, that Government department stresses that, with the classification of the Marine Natural Park of Recife do Algarve – Pedra do Valado «it will comply with the provisions of the European Union Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 , which provides for the classification of at least 30% of the maritime space under national jurisdiction by 2030».

The measure is also "in line with the commitments assumed at the 2022 United Nations Conference on the Oceans and at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations, within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the end of 2022", as well as as «with the Sustainable Development Goals, foreseen in the United Nations 2030 Agenda, namely Goal 14: Protect Marine Life».

During the period of public discussion, the documents that make up the process referring to the classification proposal can be consulted from the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests portal, by clicking here, and the ConsultaLEX portal, by clicking here.

The consultation of the documents made available can be done in person during normal office hours at the ICNF central services, at Avenida da República, n.º 16, in Lisbon, and at the Regional Directorate for Nature Conservation and Forests of the Algarve, located in the Centro de Marim Environmental Education, Quelfes, Olhão.

During that period, interested parties may submit their observations and suggestions directly to the ConsultaLEX portal.