Project “Gentes de Mar”

The fishing communities of the Western Algarve coastal villages are important reservoirs of a collective memory linked to historical heritage, values, identity, traditional occupations and sustainable economic activities.

In addition to these important territorial identity traits, which are mostly unexplored or unexploited as income sources, there is a latent growing potential waiting to be used by these fishing communities.

Combined with a tourism segment that uses natural and cultural heritages in a sustainable manner, the promotion of these “Fishing Villages” (the designation for settlements exhibiting influence of fishing communities) encourages for their conservation and raises ecological awareness through environmental interpretation.

In this regard, the project “Gentes de Mar” developed by Agência de Desenvolvimento do Barlavento (ADB) in collaboration with Centre of Marine Sciences of the University of Algarve (CCMAR) aims to create conditions to promote the sustainability of local fisheries. Moreover, within a scenery of shortage in fishing resources, it will provide tools to help the development of complementary activities; thus, it values the environment and local communities’ quality of life, while encouraging them to offer to tourists new products and activities promoted by the fishing communities — and for their own benefit.

The project aims to encourage research on complementary activities related to fisheries and coastal sustainability, based on a “coastal village tourism” model with a focus on the sea.

Research Team

Daniel Machado

Carlos M.L. Afonso

Frederico Oliveira


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Jorge M.S. Gonçalves

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João T. Tavares

Karim Erzini


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Mafalda Rangel

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Pedro Monteiro

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Agência de Desenvolvimento do Barlavento

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Centre of Marine Sciences

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Governo de Portugal

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União Europeia

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