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Government of Madeira is studying whether catching tuna in Selvagens jeopardizes the full protection of the reserve

The Government of Madeira is preparing a scientific study to assess whether the capture of tuna and skipjack in the Selvagens Islands puts the full protection status of that reserve into question, revealed the leader of the executive. “Right now, we have a national and international reserve in Selvagens. There is a study being carried out to find out whether the possible capture of migrant species in this integral reserve area, such as tuna or skipjack, does not jeopardize and safeguard the reserve integral“, stated the president of the Madeiran executive.

Miguel Albuquerque (PSD) was speaking to journalists in Funchal, on the sidelines of a session to present and review the Operational Plan to Combat Rural Fires (POCIR) for this year, in force in the region since 1 of June. Asked whether the Regional Government will allow tuna fishing in Selvagens, as Chega indicated, Miguel Albuquerque replied no, adding that a scientific study is currently being prepared, which he considers necessary before a possible decision. £o.

“It is not decided, because it has to be decided based on a scientific study that is currently being prepared. And this scientific study has to be a correct study and a study that takes into account the fundamental elements of preserving the reserve in its entirety”, he reinforced. Asked when he expects to have the document completed, Miguel Albuquerque did not give any dates.

On Monday, Chega/Madeira said that the opening of the Selvagens Islands to tuna fishing would be taken over by the island executive, noting that the details of the legislative proposal that will be presented in the Madeiran parliament will be finalized next week. “The Chega party is in the process of guaranteeing from the Regional Government the opening of the sea waters around the Selvagens Islands to tuna and skipjack fishing. The measure is one of several that are being negotiated by the party as part of the regional budget discussions, and there is already a principled understanding between Chega and the government that it will be taken on” , read a note sent to the newsrooms.

In March 2022, Selvagens became the largest marine area with full protection in the North Atlantic, after the Madeiran executive (PSD/CDS-PP) decreed its expansion. The reserve was expanded from 92 to 2,677 square kilometers, in an area of ​​12 nautical miles around the islands, in which fishing and any other extractive activity are prohibited.

Chega recently delivered a diploma to the regional parliament to allow tuna fishing on those islands, by changing the protection regime for part of the Marine Area of ​​the Selvagens Islands Natural Reserve, which in the previous legislature included votes against from PSD, CDS-PP and PAN, abstention from PS, PCP and BE, and votes in favor from Chega, JPP and IL.

Selvagens, a sub-archipelago of Madeira located around 300 kilometers south of Funchal, constitutes the southernmost territory of Portugal, having been classified as a natural reserve in 1971.

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Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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