MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
The increase of global temperature, pollution and overfishing are leading to a decrease in biodiversity causing severe shifts in marine ecosystems. In the last decades, the creation and establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) has been a widely used instrument for conservation of habitats and marine resources, through the exclusion and reduction of fisheries and destructive activities.
These areas, geographically delimited and protected by law, limit human activities occurring within their boundaries allowing species to recover, habitats to be kept intact, and favour oxygen production and carbon sequestration. Implementing efficient MPAs can be a first step to protect biodiversity and an important tool to minimize the impacts of climate change
Most MPAs in Portugal are only moderately protected, with some of them lacking proper protection status, monitoring, enforcement and management. In order for Portugal to fulfil its pledges made to the United Nations and to the European Union, for monitoring and protecting the ocean, it is fundamental to assure an effective management of its MPAs. The BiodivAMP project aims to develop tools that assist in the monitoring and protection of biodiversity on MPAs, along the Portuguese coast.