“With support from Mar 2020, 81 projects by aquaculture companies are underway, involving an investment of 102.8 million euros and which have public support of 40.94 million euros", reads a note released today in the 'website' of Mar 2020. Of the total projects, 39 are in the Algarve, 16 in the Centre region, 12 in Lisbon, eight in the North, four in Alentejo, one in the Azores and another in Madeira. According to the same document, these projects will increase the productivity and diversification of, for example, algae, sole, turbot, sea bass, sea bream, trout and shellfish, namely oysters, clams and mussels.

On the other hand, 44 research and innovation projects are being developed, with an investment of around 26.5 million euros. The investigations in question intend to strengthen the study of species such as micro and macroalgae, sea cucumbers, cuttlefish or snapper, build and test offshore production, as well as develop foods to improve the "specific well-being of each species”, mitigating diseases. “Aquaculture has a limited environmental footprint and contributes to the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity. It is, therefore, a sector with strong growth potential in supplying the food chain with nutritious and healthy foods. The sector's growth is a clear bet to promote economic development and employment”, he pointed out.

The operational program Mar 2020, which is part of Portugal 2020, aims to implement the support measures included in the European Fund for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (FEAMP), with the promotion of competitiveness and economic sustainability among its priorities, environmental and social cohesion, as well as increasing territorial cohesion. This program has a global allocation of 508 million euros, of which approximately 116 million euros correspond to the national public contribution, which originates in the State Budget.The remaining 392 million euros comes from the FEAMP.