BIODIVAMP PROJECT

The BiodivAMP project – Development of tools for monitoring and protection of biodiversity in Marine Protected Areas along the Portuguese coast – is supported by the Fundo Azul programme, in the scope of the public announcement for Monitoring and Protection of the marine environment, by the Directorate General for Maritime Policy of the Portuguese Ministry of the Sea.

BiodivAMP is built along 3 main axis:

  1. elaboration of a Good Practice Guide for monitoring, management and governance of MPAs in the Portuguese coast;
  2. implementation of a pilot project using environmental DNA as a non-invasive tool for biodiversity monitoring;
  3. promote Portuguese MPAs and disseminate the project results and activities, aiming to show the public the importance of these protected areas, as well as making tools available for stakeholders to manage AMPS in an effective and sustainable way.

This project has an innovative, wide and multidisciplinary approach. We wish to contribute to two internacional commitments made by Portugal, including the Marine Strategy Framework Directive – MSFD through 5 descriptors (D1, D2, D3, D4 and D6) that define “Good Environmental Status” and three targets of the Goal 14 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030; as well as three other compromises that were made at the Our Ocean conference.

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Environmental DNA, or eDNA, is the genetic material released from an organism into its environment (water, soil and air) through physiological and mechanical processes, where it persists for some time. In the case of fish, eDNA stems from waste products, skin/tissue, scales, eggs and sperm, mucus, blood, and carcasses. 

The eDNA analysis is an emerging tool that consists in collecting environmental samples, where DNA fragments of species that have interacted with that environment can be extracted, sequenced and identified. 

For further information visit ICES eDNA