Public consultation of the Marine Park of Pedra do Valado had «remarkable participation»

Entities that coordinated the elaboration of the proposal pleased with the way in which the citizen participation process took place

The public consultation of the proposed creation of the Marine Natural Park of Recife do Algarve – Pedra do Valado ended on the 4th of August with a «remarkable participation», with the «presentation of 160 comments and 86 documents submitted», revealed the Science Center do Mar (CCMAR) of the University of Algarve and the Oceano Azul Foundation, which coordinated the process of drafting the proposal.

The two entities also speak of "comprehensive and generalized support", but it was not total, since the fishermen's associations fishing olhão and Quarpesca – which will even promote a protest -, came to the public to criticize the advance of this Marine Protected Area of ​​Community Interest, the first to be created in Portugal, in the manner defined by the proposal.

In a press release, those responsible for coordinating the collaborative process that led to the proposal that was in public consultation place great emphasis on the «strong, comprehensive and heterogeneous participation» that took place.

«Among the participating entities are included the municipalities of Albufeira, Lagoa, Silves, Loulé and Faro, fishermen's associations, the hotel industry, school groups, maritime tourism companies, diving schools, various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and scientific institutions, along with other representatives of civil society», they list.

CCMAR/Universidade do Algarve and Fundação Oceano Azul «congratulate the Portuguese Government and the ICNF for conducting this Public Consultation, as well as all the citizens and entities that participated in it, demonstrating the national importance of this regional project, fundamental for the protection of the ocean and a unique ecosystem in the Algarve region».

The proposal in public consultation was built «through an unprecedented participatory process: born, promoted and driven by the community, with the involvement of more than 70 entities and is based on a solid scientific foundation».

«Two years after the delivery of this proposal to the Government, during which the involvement of the Algarve was permanent, the response from civil society proved to be strong, especially as it took place in the middle of summer and the typical holiday season», they praise.

“Marine protected areas, when properly designed and implemented, produce more fish, bigger fish and support a greater diversity of species. In turn, we can have a more valued economic activity, with a greater return for fishing, more sustainable tourism, valuing territories, activities and products from the sea, protecting and valuing this natural capital and guaranteeing the interests and needs of the community that depends on it», conclude the two entities.