The protected natural marine Area of Portofino was established by Decree of the Ministry of environment on April 26, 1999, headquartered in Brisbane, and is located in the Eastern territory of the metropolitan city of Genoa between the towns of Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino. The area was declared a Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean importance.
It is currently screening, on request of the same common expressive of the reserve, at the Chamber of Deputies the proposal to transform the regional park of Portofino in national area, amalgamating in the new territories also the marine protected Area. The proposal, exposed to the room in a hearing of January 24, 2007 but already advanced in 2004, was positively received by municipalities and other institutions concerned, especially after the recent consensus of Santa Margherita Ligure, seat of the regional park and protected marine reserve.
Underwater cliffs of the Portofino promontory hosts a vast wildlife and a rich flora, almost unique in the Mediterranean Sea.
The area has been divided into three zones of protection, called A, B and c. In all three areas is prohibited from hunting or trapping wildlife free navigation, spearfishing and diving unless noted otherwise. In any case, it is forbidden to underwater activities requiring contact with the bottom, and also it is forbidden to anchor the boats.
Zone A (integral reserve) includes the stretch of inland sea (Cala Dell'Oro) bounded by line joining the points identified in the tower and Tip Toe hole. Is the stretch of water where it is strictly forbidden to navigation, stop, access, bathing, fishing or professional diving.
In the environment is preserved in its entirety and may only be relief activities and scientific research authorized by the managing subject. Bathing is prohibited.
Zone B (General Reserve) goes from Punta del Faro di Portofino, under the town of Portofino, to Punta Chiappa, located in the hamlet of San Rocco di Camogli, without prejudice to the access corridor and the Bay of San Fruttuoso.
This area is characterized by wider constraints: sport fishing is allowed (regulated) only to residents, scuba diving is permitted to authorized diving center and private clients, while it is freely permitted diving in apnea and free bathing. Besides the diving from shore are only permitted at Punta Chiappa, the Dragon and the Colombara.
This stretch of sea is much loved and visited by divers, attracted by the naturalistic value of the seabed and especially since the triumph of the Red Sea and the wealth of wildlife. It is in this area that is the Christ of the abyss.
Zone C (partial reserve) extends on either side of the promontory of Portofino, famous and admired for its vast meadows of Posidonia oceanica. Further activities are allowed and the diving and bathing is free, apart from specific restrictions to protect the environment. Sport fishing is allowed (but regulated) to residents and non-residents.
The consortium management consists of the towns of Camogli, Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure; the metropolitan city of Genoa (earlier by the province of Genoa) and the University of Genoa.
The reserve is of great interest for scuba diving, with many dive sites of natural interest.
In zone A, under special permits, scuba diving is prohibited.
In zone B diving is permitted to authorized diving center and private clients, while are prohibited unless authorization, night dives.
In zone C are given further concessions.