Fishing in the Azores

The Azores archipelago is a group of nine volcanic islands situated on the MidAtlantic Ridge to the West of mainland Portugal.

Fishing in the Azores has existed since the Islands were first colonized and is today considered to be of historic, cultural, social and economic importance. The regional fishery has maintained traditional fishing methods and is considered as being both highly artisanal and sustainable. Hook-and-line fishing methods are still used predominantly allowing for a minimal by-catch and a minimum of damage to the marine environment. The present fishery exploits about 80 fish species out of more than 500 that occur within the region’s ecosystems.

Certificates

Friend of the Sea

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This certification requires that fish have come from a sustainable fishery where the stocks are not over-fished and where they have been explored responsibly using methods that cause the minimum of damage to the environment. The label was attributed to the Azorean Pole-and-line Tuna Fishery in 2001 based on the information collected by POPA. In 2006, the same label was applied to the Deep-sea demersal Fishery of the Azores. Following a species by species evaluation that considered multi-specific characteristics, eight fish species achieved certification. Together, the certified species represent approximately 85% of the total volume of hook-and-line caught fish in the Azores. click here.

Dolphin Safe

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All of the tuna species caught in the Azores carry the “Dolphin Safe” label attributed by the Earth Island Institute. The use of the label requires that the fishery is monitored and that no part of the fishing activity can have caused the capture or handling of dolphins. This has been achieved in the Azores since 1998 through the Observation Program for the Fisheries of the Azores – POPA .

To learn more about Dolphin Safe certification, click here.