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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.5/3904

Title: Valorização ecológica de trilhos subaquáticos no ZEC Caloura - Ponta da Galera
Authors: Grilo, Maria Rita Marques Lito Velez
Advisor: Ventura, Maria Anunciação
Canadas, Maria João
Keywords: ecotourism
Natura 2000 network
tourist-diver profile
scubatrails
ecological valuation
Azores
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: ISA/UTL
Citation: Grilo, Maria Rita Marques Lito Velez - Valorização ecológica de trilhos subaquáticos no ZEC Caloura - Ponta da Galera. Lisboa: ISA, 2011
Abstract: Tourism in the Azores is an emergent economic activity. The natural and cultural activities provide good opportunities of keeping on with the tendencies of developing tourism and new segments in its activity, especially the ones related with nature, culture and rural areas. There has been a development of tourism activities based on having a low impact on nature. This tourism segment is important for the economy of subsistence of the local communities by creating jobs and also by conserving natural areas. Scuba diving is an activity that is included in nature tourism also being considered an ecotourism activity since it makes possible having learning experiences and gaining respect for the natural environment. In this work I wanted to draw two scuba trails on the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) of Caloura - Ponta da Galera located in the Island of São Miguel. To do so and knowing the importance of a structured touristic product focused on its user, inquiries were done to the scuba divertourists of this area. That being, we can confirm that scuba diver-tourists of the Island of São Miguel are essentially of the male gender and in general European. Their average age is 35 years, have a degree and a monthly income more than 2500€. The majority of them are Advanced Open Water Diver. These tourists are here classified as structured ecotourists since they don't go to their vacation destination with the sole intent of an encounter with nature, but complement their vacation with nature based tourism and adventure tourism. The scuba trails were defined after collecting information from diving operators. Two places where defined: The Arcos do Hotel da Caloura and the Panela da Ponta da Galera. When drawing these trails, special attention was paid to the presence of emblematic species from the touristic point of view, the possible difficulties of the dives and the maximum depth reached, so both feature the iconic fauna and flora of the Azorean seabed. The ecological valuation focus on the presence of species under regional, national or international protection and, also, on the presence of the habitats which characterized the area as SAC of Natura 2000 Network. The Arcos do Hotel da Caloura are named like this due to their location that is in front of the Caloura Hotel Resort. The feature of this location is the abundance of arcs and small tunnels filled with fascinating sea life for the diver. These formations where a result of lava flows that also made possible the formation of galleries and caves of various dimensions. The rocky surface is usually rugged or irregular. In it we can find algae, sponges, bryozoans, annelids, among others. This dive is an easy one since it is located in an accessible depth to any diver even for those with basic levels of instruction. But it can also be considered with the difficulty of medium due to the existence of arcs and tunnels which exploration depends of each diver. VI The spot Panela of Ponta da Galera is named this way for its similarity with a pot (panela = Pot). It is a structure of a vertical cave, or cavern, down to 18.5 meters of depth with a diameter of approximately 10 meters. The walls are rugged, covered with sponges, encrusted coralline algae, tiny corals (Caryophyllia sp.) and nudibranchs, like Discodoris atromaculata. Panela has series of cracks where can be found Gymnothorax unicolor, Scorpaena maderensis or Apogon imberbis. This dive is of a medium difficulty because it implies going through tunnels and entering a cave (that may have a low luminosity depending on the exterior luminosity). Besides the dive itself is conditioned by the sea flow and sea movement that may make this dive dangerous. With the scuba trails draw in this study we intended to obtain a touristic resource that is favorable to the conservation of nature following the legislation of the study zone and performing important functions of public interest in various fields such as cultural, social, environmental and ecological. The scuba trails are in conformity with the criteria of Weaver (2008) by building a sustainable and educational touristic product with socio economic benefits to the local community. Consequently, this is an ecosystem-service since it is possible to outtake an economic income from the resource and, at the same time, improve the tourist's awareness towards conservation, making them involved in species conservation while alerting them to their protection status. According to Armsworth et al. (2007) society will demand greater environmental management if human dependence on nature becomes widely recognized. This study allowed to obtain a perception of the profile of a tourist-diver on SAC Caloura, where the subaquatic tourism is now in exploration. Yet it is important to mention that this is a preliminary study of the profile mentioned above and that continuing this study would be important for the tourism sector and for the conservation of the scuba trails. Finally it will be worthwhile to compile the trails with others that will be drawn around the Archipelago, as well as a guide of good methods of diving for the tourists and for the Sea tourism companies.
Description: Mestrado em Gestão e Conservação de Recursos Naturais - Instituto Superior de Agronomia / Universidade de Évora
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.5/3904
Appears in Collections:BISA - Dissertações de Mestrado / Master Thesis

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