The Avencas marine protected area (MPA) is the youngest member of the Portuguese MPAs. Located 30 kilometres west of Lisbon it stretches from the beach of São Pedro do Estoril to Parede and covers an area of only 0.59 square kilometres.
This MPA is a multi-use single zone municipal protcted area that allows for sustainable fishing activities.
Why is it important?
The habitat in the protected area of Avencas is represented by intertidal rocky platforms with a gentle slope that are unusually large for the Portuguese coast. It harbours dense and diversified intertidal communities that, due to their richness, call the attention of local residents and tourists mainly during the summer season.
It is a small MPA surrounded by a densely populated neighbourhood, which makes it vulnerable to human impact but, at the same time, represents an excellent platform for outreach activities such as raising environmental awareness and teaching coastal ecology.
If you would like to learn more about this MPA, visit the Pedra do Sal Interpretation Center – a small building with multipurpose facilities located to the west of the Avencas. Here you may find and experience educational/cultural exhibitions and indoor/outdoor activities.