The Azorean Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), an area of approximately 1 000 000 km², represents 55% of the Portuguese EEZ and around 15% of the European EEZ.
The large scale of this area and wealth of the seafloor with great potential for the exploitation of rare and precious resources, the high quality and diversity of the regional fishing season and the geographical positioning of the archipelago, the existence of commercial ports in all the islands, act as investment incentives in this sector.
The use of the Azores maritime port system as an Atlantic logistics platform, taking advantage of its location and infrastructures, enhances the creation of a structured and competitive logistics network, linked to international transport and distribution networks, by using the existing commercial ports for commercial supply and distribution, specialized in large vessels, the regional ports for transport and movement of goods and support for recreational boats and smaller cruise ships, and the local ports, suitable for fishing and recreational boats.
Due to its geographic location, the Azores archipelago is a point of convergence for the vessels that cross the Atlantic, frequently in need of repairs and supplies.
The high quality and diversity of the regional fish and the geographical positioning of the archipelago offer opportunities of investment in fish processing and in the modernization of the fishing fleet.
The Azorean canned tuna has prominent position in the archipelago's exports, with products present in about 30 countries.
As ecological recognition and appreciation, tuna fishing in the Azores, known as “Pole & Line” is certified since 1998 by the nongovernmental organization Earth Island Institute as “Dolphin Safe”, due to its lesser predatory characteristics, and since 2001 as “Friend of the sea”, the first tuna fishing method in the world to be awarded such certification.
The mapping study developed by the Regional Government of the Azores to identify high potential aquaculture zones, existence of scientific knowledge and the availability of equipped labs and offices for new enterprises, makes this business area very attractive.
Recent scientific exploration of the Azorean seabed demonstrated the existence of metallic resources associated with hydrothermal fields. Various international oceanographic missions unveiled five active hydrothermal fields (Menez Gwen, Lucky Strike, Saldanha, Rainbow and Moytirra) located in the Azorean seabed.