MARSW Project

The MARSW project is developing an information and monitoring system of the marine biodiversity from the “Sudoeste Alentejano” and “Vicentina” Coast Natural Park (PNSACV). This system will allow us to know the distribution of species, communities and habitats that occur in this marine area, as well as the development of tools to assess their conservation status over time. MARSW is ongoing between 2017 and 2021. 


What does this information system consist of?

It is a catalogue about the PNSACV marine area, which includes environmental characteristics (for example, which species and what type of seafloor were observed in each zone) and information on human activities carried out (for example, fishing). This information is available on an open access internet portal, associated to an interactive geographic information system (Geoportal) regularly updated.

Depth and seafloor relief from a stretch of coast of the PNSACV marine area. This survey was carried out by the Hydrographic Institute using a multibeam echosounder.
Campaign carried out in 2018 by the research vessel Gago Coutinho (Hydrographic Institute) to prospect the PNSACV seafloor.

And what is this monitoring system?

It is a set of procedures used to collect and analyse information, to be carried out in a comparable way over time. This system will allow the continuous assessment of the conservation status of species and habitats in the marine area of PNSACV. Thus, it will be possible to understand if the protection measures are being successful and to support the management of these areas.

Visual identification and quantification of the abundance and size of marine species on a rocky reef of the PNSACV marine area.

What is the basis of MARSW’s information and monitoring system?

The information comes from scientific studies, ongoing or already carried out, and from the knowledge of people who live and work in this region, as well as from entities such as fishermen and development associations, maritime-tourism companies, and the local administration.

Marine biologist collecting information in a commercial fishing vessel operating in the marine area of PNSACV.