São Jorge Island is pretty much the centre of the central group of the Azores archipelago and is divided into two municipalities: Calheta in the eastern part and Velas in the western part of the island.
São Jorge has an area of 246 square kilometres and it’s relatively long, thin and high, spanning 54 kilometres east to west, 8 kilometres north to south and the highest point being Pico da Esperança at 1052 meters. São Jorge is home to 9500 inhabitants that populate mainly the north and south coastal areas due to the islands steep, high cliffs.
On and around São Jorge there are four marine protected areas (MPAs) that are all under special management to protect their resources. These areas offer mainly protection from industrial fishing, thus allowing a sustainable flow to the surrounding regions. In these MPAs, local commercial and recreational fishing are allowed and regulated. These MPAs are the Costa das Fajãs, the Costa Nordeste (or Topo), the Costa Oeste and the area of Entre Morros.