February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Mapping biodiversity and human activities for Marine Spatial Planning in the Algarve (Portugal)

Scientific Exhibition
Habitat Loss and Ocean Noise
Thursday, February 4, 2016 -
17:30 to 19:30

Gonçalves, J.M.S. 1 Monteiro, P. 2 Oliveira, F. 3 Afonso, C.M.L. 4 Henriques, N.S. 5 Costa, E. 6 Bentes, L. 7

1Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
2Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
3Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
4Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
5Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
6Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
7Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal

Given the rise of human activities in the world's coastal areas over the last decades, Marine Spatial Planning has become an essential coastal management tool. The Algarve region in southern Portugal has been no exception to this rising development. In this region, fisheries, navigation and nautical tourism have been the main activities at sea. However, in recent years, several offshore aquacultures, including sea ranching of tuna fish (locality called “armações de atum”), have also played a major role in this field. In order to contribute to a MSP process for the Algarve coast, a search for available information related to main biophysical features, such as spatial distribution of marine biodiversity and major anthropogenic activities was carried out. The spatial distribution of OSPAR’s habitats and marine habitats listed in the EU Habitat Directive was gathered to the extent possible, trying to identify not only any type of Marine Protected Area (MPA) already in place, but also potential priority habitats and threatened species not yet under protection. The fishing grounds were mapped using data obtained through questionnaires to the small scale fisheries (SSF) and from Automatic Identification System (AIS) and/or Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) analysis of the industrial fleets (vessel length >15m). Additionally, offshore aquaculture, nautical tourism, artificial reefs and sand and energy extraction were mapped based on actual or programmed infrastructures/areas, while navigation spatial data were derived from AIS. Following the identification of key issues, specific objectives were developed in accordance with the particular needs of the region and following an Ecosystem Based Approach. Different planning options were explored, in particular by using scenarios and spatial modelling.
keywords: 
Marine Spatial Planning, biodiversity conservation, sustainable exploitation, fisheries and aquaculture, coastal management

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