The position is defended within the framework of a public consultation of the European Commission on restrictions on equal access to waters, the Regulation on the Common Fisheries Policy.
In a press release the Azorean executive mentions that it is an "absolute priority" to have a permanent 200-mile maritime protection zone at sea in the region, adding that the objective is to "provide positive discrimination of access" to the resources of the sea by the Azorean artisanal fleet and fishing communities, while allowing "the preservation of the local economy and compliance with the Treaties and the Common Fisheries Policy itself".
Article 5 of EU Regulation 1380/2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy, which lays down the general rules for access to waters, has made it possible for fishing vessels registered in the ports of the Azores to fish exclusively within a 100-mile zone.
The Government of the Azores believes that "the maintenance of this guideline should be ensured, and access to living resources should be exclusive to vessels registered in the region's ports and to vessels authorised by them", reads the document sent to the European Commission through the DGRM (Directorate-General for Natural Resources, Safety and Maritime Services).
The Azorean executive, "in order to guarantee the sustainability of ecosystems and marine resources, social cohesion and the local economy, maintains its intention to defend a permanent 200-mile maritime protection zone in the Azores, within the marine biogeographical region of Macaronesia," the note says.
According to the published note, the region "has over the years been implementing measures to protect and restrict access to the waters of the Azores sub-area of the national exclusive economic zone", through regional ordinances or legislative decrees to "make fishing compatible with the conservation of marine biological resources, thus contributing to long-term environmental, economic and social sustainability".
The Regional Government also stresses that "it has been intensifying its efforts to ensure the sustainability of fishing, through monitoring programmes and certification, not only of professionals, but also of fishery products".