Today was a road trip to Lisbon. We left Faro bright and early driving north though the hills covered with cork trees and vineyards.
Our first stop was the IBM office in the Parque das Nacoes section of Lisbon. We had a brief opportunity to meet individually with some extremely gifted IBM’ers in the Lisbon office. We also checked in with Portugal Country General Manager Antonio Raposo de Lima and Director of Human Resources, Antonio Cerejeria and then it was off to our first meeting of the day with Secretary of State for the Sea, Manuel Pinto de Abreu.
This meeting was informative as a number of key initiatives on data generation and data sharing for the marine environment will be passed by the legislature tomorrow. The Secretary spoke of the pending expansion of Portugal’s ocean territory and the challenges of monitoring this expanded territory, which will require using remote sensing and unattended.
We bid farewell to the Secretary and his staff and moved to a restaurant Cantinho do Avillez where we had another fantastic Portuguese meal. The seafood was superb as usual (scallops with guacamole), but the surprise of the day was our first taste of Portuguese beef in a traditional sandwich. We were also able to meet some more of the Desafio Global team over lunch.
We hurried from the restaurant to our next meeting at the National Institute for Atmosphere and Sea Matters building. This was our first meeting where we interviewed more than one organization at a time. The interviewees were Joao Fonseca Ribeiro of General Directorate for Maritime Affairs (DGPM), Antonina dos Santos of the National Institute for Atmosphere and Sea Matters and a representative (Anna) of Doscapesca. These three organizations have responsibility for the developing and instituting marine policy, collecting and disseminating meteorological and oceanic data and running the national “first sale” fish markets, taxing the catch and ensuring food safety (Doscapesca). It was a rare opportunity to get the perspective of the agencies charged with policy, data, and running the fish markets in a single meeting. We were encouraged to learn that the data sharing and use among the three agencies is on the increase.
We recharged at a one-of-a-kind pastry shop in Lisbon, Pasteis de Belem, and then boarded the van for the long ride back to Faro, arriving around 8:45 PM.