The Azorean Exclusive Economic Zone (E.E.Z.) currently represents 55% of the Portuguese E.E.Z and approximately 6% of the European E.E.Z. The area has approximately 1,000,000 km2.
The large scale and wealth of the seafloor in this zone offer great potential to explore rare and precious resources.
Ports, Transport and Logistics
The Azores port system can be used as an Atlantic logistics platform, taking advantage of the location and existing infrastructure.
Creation of a structured and competitive logistics network linked to international transport and distribution networks, through the use of:
- Commercial Ports - commercial supply and distribution ports, specialized in large vessels;
- Regional Ports – for transport and movement of goods and support for recreational boats and smaller cruise ships;
- Local Ports – suitable for fishing and recreational boats.
Fishing and the Fishing Industry
The high quality and diversity of the regional harvest season and the geographic positioning of the archipelago act as investment incentives for:
- Fish preparation and processing;
- Storage, packaging and the cold chain;
- Development of new markets and advertising campaigns;
- Investments in the modernization of the fishing fleet.
- Privileged contact with scientists from the University of the Azores;
- Availability of equipped labs and offices for new enterprises;
- Regional Vet Laboratory equipped with cutting-edge technology;
- Mapping study developed to identify potential aquaculture areas in the Azores.
The tuna-canning industry made in Azores holds a prominent position in the archipelago’s exports. The products are present in 30 countries, with Spain and Italy being the industry’s main destination markets.
In the Azores, there are currently 4 businesses operating in this sector.
In 2015, for the 4th consecutive year, the Azorean canning company Santa Catarina Indústria Conserveira won the “Best of the Best“ award at the 4th National Canned Fish Contest with the product “Tuna Fillet with Pepper from Azores”.
In 2016, the same company won the “Best of the Best” award at the 5th National Canned Fish Contest with their product “Tuna Fillet in Olive Oil with Ginger“.
Still in 2016, and in the same contest, Santa Catarina was also awarded two gold medals with the products “Tuna fillet in Olive Oil with Ginger” and “Tuna Fillet with Pepper from Azores”. Furthermore, two silver medals were awarded to “Tuna Fillet with Mediterranean Sauce” (award winner in previous editions) and to “Tuna Fillet with Four Peppers”.
Tuna fishing in the Azores was distinguished by Greenpeace as:
- Dolphin Safe
- Friend of the Sea
Shipbuilding and Repairs
Due to its location, the Azores is a meeting point for vessels sailing the Atlantic, which frequently divert to the islands to load supplies or carry out repairs.
The aim is to invest in and add value to:
- Repairs and maintenance of large vessels;
- Construction, repairs and maintenance of fishing boats, sea tourism boats and recreational boats.
Research, Innovation And Development
Recent scientific deep-sea exploration has demonstrated the existence of metal resources associated with hydrothermal fields. Various international oceanographic missions have led to the discovery of five active hydrothermal fields located in the Azores seas (Menez Gwen, Lucky Strike, Saldanha, Rainbow and Moytirra). Considered up to now as a science fiction scenario, the exploration of mineral resources at depths greater than 1,500 meters could be initiated by the second half of the 21st century.
Research of the seabed in the Azores and “blue biotechnology” are of great interest for scientific and economic purposes.
It is worth noting that:
- Genetic resources have been discovered in the marine substrate of the Azores with potential interest to the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries and biotechnology;
- This area has huge potential, offering opportunities for the creation of academic Spin-Offs in the fishing sector.