The project of the Marine Natural Park of Recife do Algarve - Pedra do Valado (PNMRA) was developed over the last three years by 70 entities and foresees the creation of a co-management commission with central and local entities, in a proximity management model.

The expectation in relation to the Government's reaction is "very high", assumes the CEO of FOA Emanuel Gonçalves, since "there was never a process done in this way".

“The basic work of extensive consultations and technical and scientific support that often fails is done, the Government will have to look at this, analyze what is proposed and make its decisions, but we have a great expectation”, said Emanuel Gonçalves to Lusa News Agency.

The intention is to safeguard an area known as Pedra do Valado, on the coast of Albufeira, Lagoa and Silves, which extends for seven nautical miles (about 12 kilometres), having the largest coastal rocky reef in Portugal, where there exists about 800 marine species.

The PNMRA project aims to create an area with 156.4 square kilometres (km2) of global area between the Alfanzina Lighthouse (to the west) and the Albufeira marina (to the east), divided into several parcels including an area of ​​four square kilometres (2.6 percent) of total protection where no activities (extractive or non-extractive), nor passage will be allowed, with only permission for scientific monitoring and studies to assess the park, upon authorization.

About 16.5 km2 (10.6 percent) are reserved for a partial protection area, where extractive activities (such as commercial and recreational fishing) are not allowed, but sustainable and properly regulated non-extractive activities can take place such as diving, outings, non-motorized water sports, navigation or whale watching.

For a complementary protection area, an area of ​​55.4 km2 (35.4 percent) is foreseen to which vessels up to nine meters in length will have access, following criteria to be defined by the co-management commission, and another with 80.5 km2 (5,5 percent) that may be used by coastal vessels.