On nature’s shoulders: Riding the big waves in Nazaré
Authors: Maria A. Cunha-e-Sá, Rita Freitas, Luís C. Nunes e Vladimir Otrachshenko
Marine Renewable Energy in Portugal
Authors: Maria A. Cunha-e-Sá, Ana Faria Lopes, Filipa Saldanha
The Gulbenkian Oceans Initiative (GOI) funded an interdisciplinary research project with the purpose of determining the economic value of some of the ocean’s benefits to Portugal. The project’s results seek to contribute directly to the adoption of new policies, or to change existing ones, improving the management of maritime activities and ensure the protection of marine ecosystems.
The research project was carried out by two research institutions, resulting in the integration of natural sciences (CESAM, at the University of Aveiro) and economics (Nova School of Business & Economics). Their interdisciplinary approach involved joint work between natural science and social science researchers, thus meaningfully combining knowledge on how marine ecosystems work, with knowledge on how people use those ecosystems.
Research efforts were focused on the marine area between Peniche and Nazaré. The project sought to produce a textbook example of economic valuation of the benefits of marine ecosystems, and of how this knowledge contributes to improve decision-making processes and raise marine environmental awareness.
The lines of research adopted concerned (i) the giant wave off Nazaré; (ii) renewable marine energies (offshore wind and wave energies); (iii) sardine fishery; (iv) crustacean trawling; (v) the relationship between the vulnerability of marine and coastal habitats and the benefits they provide; and (vi) the perceptions of different stakeholders about the ocean’s benefits.