Blue economy sectors

Coastal and maritime tourism in madeira is Indissociable of tourism as a whole because both sea and land activities are very geographically close and complementary. As it is, the tourism destiny of Madeira has this complementarity as one of the positive distinguishing aspects for attracting guests, in line with a wide range of experiences that use both interfaces.

The most traditional incoming markets for tourism in Madeira are Germany and the United Kingdom. This scenario has been changing in the last ten years where incoming markets diversification has brought other fluxes from Europe, like Spain, France and the Scandinavian markets, and, with less expression, from markets outside Europe, like USA, Brazil, Russia and east Asian markets.

In the purely maritime activities, like those performed by the maritime services companies, that include boat riding, cetaceans sightseeing, scuba diving, sport fishing, surf, etc., we can identify a growing trend both in the number of services provided and the number of tourist operators performing it. Although seasonality causes fluctuations in touristic maritime activities, most of tourism services are available all year and, in general, they are more dependent upon the conditions of the ocean and weather than those connected with seasonality. For this scenario, the warmer sea waters all year round, relatively to the northerner territories in mainland Europe, and the mild climate, specially the mild winters, are undoubtedly fundamental.

Cruise liners is another significant activity under maritime tourism representing in 2017, 293 port calls, of which 289 were done in the port of Funchal, and 537 352 passengers in transit.

The aquaculture in Madeira is almost exclusively done in open sea cages with a small exception of an inland freshwater production site that produces trouts.

This sector has been a strategic axis for Madeira. Portugal had its first offshore aquaculture pilot site in Madeira in 1996. The Regional Government of Madeira reinforced the sector with the creation, in the year 2000, of a dedicated R&D center for aquaculture (Centro de Maricultura da Calheta), that has been crucial for supporting local companies with production challenges.

The aquaculture sector of madeira has an installed production capacity of 2000 ton/year, for golden bream, and it’s expected to reach 5000 tons by 2020, as new aquaculture production companies state their interest. Species diversification is being tested and it’s expected to reach commercial viability in the next few years.

The regional government has developed a licensing tool for aquaculture production in offshore cages that cuts the estimated time for a company to conclude its licensing process in half, from the previous 3 years to an estimated year and a half. This was possible to do mainly because of a spatial maritime planning effort that predetermined the potential production sites and the permitted production loads for each dedicated zone. Due to the calmer seas and lower primary productivity in the south coast of Madeira, all the aquaculture production sites are installed or predicted to be, according to the spatial planning tool, in island’s the south sea.

The ports of Madeira moved, in 2016, 1.035 million tonnes corresponding to 0.896 million tonnes of cargo unloaded and 0.139 million tonnes uploaded. The ratio between downloaded and uploaded cargo stands at 6.4 meaning that every tonne of cargo uploaded, 6.4 tonnes of cargo are downloaded. This imbalance states the dependency of the island upon external goods and, consequently, the island strong dependency upon maritime transport to deliver goods and raw material to the economy and population.

In terms of ports, the port of Caniçal, in the southeast of the island, is responsible for 0.828 million tonnes of cargo downloaded, corresponding to 92.4% of total cargo downloaded in the island, and for 0.138 million tonnes of uploaded cargo, corresponding to 98.8% of total cargo uploaded. The port of Funchal does not receive containerized cargo, and the ferry line that connects Madeira, Portimão (continental Portugal) and the Canary Islands, which in now operational during the summer months, did not operate in 2016. This explains the diminutive influence of this port in terms of cargo stated in these statistics, a panorama that should change once the influence of the ferry line is reflected in the statistics of 2018. The same reasoning can be made for the transport of people, for and from the archipelago, by the ferry line now in operation.

At a regional level, there is a ferry line between the island of Porto Santo and Madeira that was responsible, in 2017, for the transport of 338 277 passengers between the two islands.

Currently there aren’t any installed energy in Madeira for producing energy from sea resources. Nevertheless, energy potential for wind, waves and local currents is currently being assessed around the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo. This step will be crucial for advancing to pilot site experiences which will enable commercial electroproduction.

There is a project from the regional energy utility company in the island of Madeira (EEM), that integrates increased capacity for freshwater retention with intermittent energy injection, that will further enable Renewable Energy Systems penetration by 25 MW. This is a window of opportunity for kick starting offshore wind energy harnessing in the ocean, corresponding to its perceived higher potential.

Simultaneously, a project from the Regional Government of Madeira and the EEM company in the island of Porto Santo, named Smart Fossil Free Island – Porto Santo Sustentável, will accelerate the decarbonizing of the energy system of the island, where offshore wind energy stands as a preferable choice for renewable energy production.

Short description

Short description

Although references to Madeira’s archipelago date from the roman empire, where they may be known as the Isles of Blest, official discover of the islands were dated to 1419 when captains João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira were luckily driven to...

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Local Working group

Local Working group

The following partners are involved in the study of Madeira: AREAM (Island Focal Point) The following local stakeholders have declared their interest in participating in the local study of Madeira in the frame of the Soclimpact project....

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