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  • Writer's pictureWalking in Cape Verde

Uninhabited Islands of Cape Verde

The island of Santa Luzia and the islets Branco and Raso, located between São Nicolau and São Vicente, are uninhabited and surrounded by shallow waters, representing around 20% of the country's island platform, constituting a privileged ecosystem for the reproduction of a diversity of maritime resources, in particular pelagic and demersal species.

Exploitation of Resources

The area is mainly frequented by fishermen from the communities of Calhau, Salamansa and São Pedro on the island of São Vicente, Tarrafal in São Nicolau and Sinagoga in Santo Antão, who explore the resources using small, mostly artisanal boats. There is also a growing demand for the area by the tourist sector for sport fishing (line or underwater fishing) in small private group trips or trips organized by agencies, in either case duly authorized by the competent authorities.

Legislation and Resource Conservation

Although the impact of these activities appears to be relatively small, if one takes into account the number of people involved and the nature of their activities, given the limited scientific knowledge about the functioning of the ecosystem, the biology and ecosystem of species and the inventory of biodiversity, in 2003, the country's competent authorities began the process of creating the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Santa Luzia and the islets Branco and Raso (Decree-Law 3/2003), which determines the protection regime, management instruments and makes compatible different interests among users with a view to lasting exploitation of resources and conservation of the complex's biodiversity.

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