MarPro - Conservation of Marine Protected Species in Mainland Portugal

LIFE09 NAT/PT/000038

Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version  

Contact details:

Contact person: Catarina EIRA
Tel: +351 919 618 705
Fax: 00 351 233 910 670
Email: catarina.eira@ua.pt

Project description:


One of the main constraints to the enlargement of the Natura 2000 network to marine environments is the lack of research on marine habitats and species far from the coast. Few organisations or institutions have the necessary means to undertake such work. The designation of SCIs has thus been affected by the lack of relevant data on specific species such as cetaceans and seabirds.

An Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is an area stretching to 200 nautical miles from the coast, over which a state has special rights to marine resources. Portuguese EEZs include one of the highest abundances of common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in Europe and are an important wintering ground for the Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus).

A total of 7 SCIs (55 400 ha) and 7 SACs (58 500 ha) have been created in the Portuguese coastal and marine environment. Nevertheless, political and logistical difficulties have led to a significant delay in drawing up further SCI proposals in costal and marine areas. The availability of specific information needed for the implementation of appropriate management measures for cetacean and seabird species is also quite low.


The MarPro project aims to successfully implement the NATURA 2000 network for the target cetacean and seabird species and their habitats throughout the EEZ of mainland Portugal. It will reduce conflicts between fisheries and the target species in order to ensure compliance with the Habitats and Birds Directives.

The project will propose new Natura 2000 marine areas for Portugal. It will also develop management plans for the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), common bottlenose dolphin and Balearic shearwater.

MarPro will promote understanding between relevant authorities, scientists, fishermen, new marine industries (such as energy producers) and the general public in order to achieve consensus in the implementation of the marine Natura 2000 network. It will evaluate the complex interaction of open-sea fishing on the target species and implement good practice solutions concerning by-catch and fish depredation to improve sustainability.

The project will create cost-effective, sustainable and long-term surveillance and monitoring instruments for analysing and interpreting the evolution of the conservation status of the target species and their habitats.

Expected results:

  • Sustainable development of Portuguese fisheries with a reduced impact on target cetaceans and seabirds;
  • Implementation of SPAs and SCIs in Portuguese EEZs;
  • Proposals for new Natura 2000 offshore sites for Portugal;
  • Conservation/management plans for Phocoena phocoena, Tursiops truncatus and Puffinus mauretanicus.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Marine
Species - Birds
Species - Mammals


marine ecosystem‚  protected area

Target species

 Phocoena phocoena   Puffinus puffinus mauretanicus   Tursiops truncatus 

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Universidade de Aveiro
Type of organisation University
Description Universidade de Aveiro is one of Portugal's 14 public universities. It has already been involved in international projects on seabirds, cetaceans and marine turtles.
Partners IPIMAR, Portugal Universidade do Minho/CBMA, Portugal SPEA, Portugal ICNB, Portugal


Project reference LIFE09 NAT/PT/000038
Duration 01-JAN-2011 to 31-DEC -2017
Total budget 2,773,032.00 €
EU contribution 1,386,516.00 €
Project location Norte(Portugal) Centro(Portugal) Lisboa e vale do Tejo(Portugal) Algarve(Portugal)


Read more:

Poster "AVES Marinhas - Cetáceos" (5.53 MB)
Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Twitter page
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Código de Boas Práticas: Código de boas práticas ...
Publication: Pedagogical tool "LIFE+ MARPRO: Conservação de espécies marinhas pr ...


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version