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Portugal Leads the way with Largest Marine reserve in North Atlantic

Portugal is no stranger to how much they love their fish. One of their favorites is the sardine, let’s call it sardinha, as the Portuguese do! This coastal country is one of the top producers of canned sardinha! They even have a sardinha festival that takes place every year from June 12-14th. Yes, the Portuguese LOVE them! Not only are they a delicacy but also a super healthy source of protein.

Let’s go back for a quick bit of history, canned sardines hit-the-market in 1824, France. Portugal followed suit in the 1850’s and has since then become one of the top producers and exporters of this tiny fish in a tin!

So when this seaside country announced that they are protecting 1,034 square miles of ocean for their salty bff’s and creatures beyond the sardinha, we couldn’t be more thrilled! What does this mean? There will be no fishing or other oceanic activities that may disturb our sea creatures in these protected waters! Think of it as a fish sanctuary. That means migrating fish and mammals will pass though safely, and they will be able to give birth at the shores of nearby islands without the threat of being fished out. Portugal also teamed up with the Waitt Foundation and National Geographic Pristine Seas to conduct studies that will document the benefits for having these sanctuaries. And just maybe more sanctuaries will pop up around the globe! Now, isn’t that beautiful? We think so.

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