Blue Azores

Protecting, promoting, and valuing the blue natural capital of the Azores

Focused on the conservation and sustainable use of the Azorean Sea, the Blue Azores Program will contribute to protecting, promoting, and valuing the rich marine resources of the archipelago.


Three Partners, One Vision


Blue Azores is the result of an international partnership between the Regional Government of the Azores, the Waitt Institute and Oceano Azul Foundation, uniting in a single vision of a healthy Azorean Sea and a thriving ocean society.

Working closely with the scientific teams at the University of the Azores, this close partnership brings decades of scientific knowledge and expertise from the region to inform each aspect of the programme and the implementation of the implementation of the marine protected areas.


Programme objectives:

  • Protect 30% of the Azorean Sea through marine protected areas with at least 15% of fully protected marine areas.
  • Prepare and implement management plans for all marine protected areas, including existing ones and those to be designated.
  • Contribute to marine spatial planning.
  • Support the restructuring of the fishing sector.


The programme will also create new opportunities for sustainable economic development in the Azores, supporting Portugal and the Azores to achieve international objectives set by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (ODS) 14, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature).


To kick off this program, two scientific expeditions were carried out in the Azores. The first took place in 2016 and evaluated the state of the marine ecosystems in the eastern group of islands. The second, Oceano Azul Expedition, provided an overview of coastal, open ocean and deep-sea ecosystems in the central and western areas of ​​the archipelago. In addition to other ongoing scientific studies, the scientific reports on the health status of these marine ecosystems from these two expeditions will provide an important scientific basis to support the process of defining and establishing these new Azorean marine protected areas.


Learn more about the programme here

Initiative status
Stage 3 : Ongoing
Initiative keywords
  • Azores
  • Blue Economy
  • Conservation
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Ocean
  • Portugal
Share this initiative

“The Azores can be an example on a global scale, in which natural capital is protected, promoted, and valued, with the integral involvement of its major stakeholders: the Azorean community. And, more and more, the world calls for joint actions, concerted efforts. The Blue Azores Program depends only on the will of the parties who want to fulfill it.”
– José Soares dos Santos, President of Oceano Azul Foundation

Ocean’s news

June 30, 2022
Oceano Azul Foundation It is time to get back to your true nature, you were born in water, not land. We come from the ocean, and we are part of it. The ocean’s point of view matters. #oceansays
November 17, 2021
Blue Bio Value Acceleration | 4th Edition Blue Bio Value Acceleration aims to foster sustainable blue innovation that can contribute to  a new development model capable of decoupling economic growth from the degradation of natural resources. The program’s promoters, Oceano Azul Foundation and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, firmly believe that blue biotechnology is a key answer to that challenge.   “Blue Bio Value [...]