BLUE AZORES – Scientific Report – The Best Kept Secret in the Atlantic

Scientific report

The waters around the Azores Archipelago contain some of the most important island, open-water, and deep-sea environments in the Atlantic. Despite its importance, this invaluable, fragile, and irreplaceable blue natural capital is under threat and needs to be protected.

To launch the Blue Azores Program, two scientific expeditions were carried out in the Azorean Sea. The first in 2016 explored the eastern group of islands, organized by the Waitt Foundation and the Oceano Azul Foundation with the support of the Regional Government of the Azores, in collaboration with researchers from the University of the Azores and IMAR. The second in 2018 explored the central and western group of islands, and involved National Geographic’s Pristine Seas, the Portuguese Navy through the Hydrographic Institute, the Task Group for the Extension of the Continental Shelf, and various national and international partners.




This report, containing the scientific results of these two expeditions, together with the scientific information that has been collected in the Azores over the past several decades, confirms that the marine life of the Azorean Sea is unique, diverse and vibrant. However, it is also fragile and under pressure, and urgently needs protection.

This scientific report 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.


Blue Azores Scientific Report Summary