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Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 643–655 | Cite as

Biomares, a LIFE project to restore and manage the biodiversity of Prof. Luiz Saldanha Marine Park

  • Alexandra H. CunhaEmail author
  • Karim Erzini
  • Ester A. Serrão
  • Emanuel Gonçalves
  • Rita Borges
  • Miguel Henriques
  • Victor Henriques
  • Miriam Guerra
  • Carlos Duarte
  • Núria Marbá
  • Mark Fonseca
Article

Abstract

The Marine Park Prof. Luiz Saldanha, in the coast of Arrábida, is the first marine park in continental Portugal. This area is a Nature 2000 site and is considered to be a hotspot for European marine biodiversity. In 2005, the management plan of the park was implemented, ending several habitat menaces, thereby allowing an application to the LIFE—NATURE Programme. The LIFE-BIOMARES project aimed at the restoration and management of the biodiversity of the marine park through several actions. The restoration of the seagrass prairies that were completely destroyed by fishing activities and recreational boating, was one of the most challenging. It included the transplanting of seagrasses from donor populations and the germination of seagrass seeds for posterior plantation to maintain genetic diversity in the transplanted area. One of the most popular actions was the implementation of environmental friendly moorings to integrate recreational use of the area with environmental protection. Several dissemination and environmental education actions concerning the marine park and the project took place and contributed to the public increase of the park acceptance. The seabed habitats were mapped along the park and a surrounding area to 100 m depth in order to create a habitat cartography of the park and to help locate alternative fishing zones. Biodiversity assessments for macrofauna revealed seasonal variations and an effect of the protection status. Preliminary results are presented and show that the marine park regulations are having a positive effect on biodiversity conservation and sustainable fisheries, thereby showing that these kind of conservation projects are important to disseminate coastal conservation best practices. The Biomares project is a model project that can be followed in the implementation of marine reserves and the establishment of the Natura 2000 marine network.

Keywords

Life-nature Marine protected area Marine biodiversity Marine habitat restoration Seagrass restoration 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The project Biomares (LIFE06 NAT/P/192) was funded by the European Union LIFE program and by the cement company SECIL, Companhia de Cal e Cimentos S.A., in addition to national entities co-funding such as CCMAR, ICNB ISPA, INRB and CSIC (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra H. Cunha
    • 1
    • 7
    Email author
  • Karim Erzini
    • 1
  • Ester A. Serrão
    • 1
  • Emanuel Gonçalves
    • 2
  • Rita Borges
    • 2
  • Miguel Henriques
    • 3
  • Victor Henriques
    • 4
  • Miriam Guerra
    • 4
  • Carlos Duarte
    • 5
    • 8
  • Núria Marbá
    • 5
  • Mark Fonseca
    • 6
  1. 1.Center for Marine Sciences, CIMARUniversity of Algarve, Campus de GambelasFaroPortugal
  2. 2.Eco-Ethology Research Unit, ISPALisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Luiz Saldanha Marine Park, ICNF, Pr. da RepúblicaSetúbalPortugal
  4. 4.IPMA - Instituto Português do Mar e da AtmosferaLisbonPortugal
  5. 5.Department of Global Change ResearchIMEDEA (CSIC-UIB) Institut Mediterrani d’Estudis AvançatsEsporles (Mallorca)Spain
  6. 6.CSA Ocean Sciences Inc.StuartUSA
  7. 7.Joint Nature Conservation CommitteePeterboroughUK
  8. 8.UWA Oceans Institute and School of Plant BiologyUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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