Home News Parliamentarians question Minister of the Sea over environmentally harmful aquaculture in Vila do Bispo

Parliamentarians question Minister of the Sea over environmentally harmful aquaculture in Vila do Bispo

Published on 28/02/2020

The PCP parliamentary group have today questioned the Minister of the Sea, Ricardo Serrão Santos, over an industrial request to install a mussel culture establishment in marine waters in the open sea, just off the coast between Sagres and Vila do Bispo. This aquaculture establishment will be intended for the growth and fattening of mussels.

PCP MP João Dias warned that the announcement of the Aquaculture Activity Title (TAA) request included details stating that the farm would cover an area of ??about 282 hectares for the implementation of the “Finisterra2 project”. This is “of great concern” to local coastal fishermen who are registered in the area of ??jurisdiction of the captaincy of Lagos, and who operate along the Algarve coast, making up approximately 300 non-industrial fishing vessels.

According to these hundreds of fishermen, the attribution of this TAA permit would “further restrict the exercise of fishing in the area in question”, thus only adding to the restrictions already in place, such as a series of regulations overseeing docking and sales activities, and the absence of support in coping with periods of shutdowns as a result of species safety incentives and approved fishing quotas.

“The geographical analysis of the TAA assignments in the area in question shows that four other areas for aquaculture production have already been allocated in the Sagres and Vila do Bispo area, covering about 361 hectares so far, affecting the exercise of historical fishing activities in a significant part of the coast between Salema and Sagres. The granting of another 282 hectares will further aggravate this situation”, stressed the PCP MPs in a letter sent to the minister of the sea.

The parliamentarians also pointed out that the aquaculture farms mentioned, which are already operating, “at least in part”, are in an area classified as a protected area (belonging to the territory of the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina), this is also the case for the area over which this new TAA request is pending.

The PCP letter added that there is a dire need to assess the environmental impacts induced by this and other aquaculture projects, in order to “minimize the impacts resulting from this use, and making different uses of the marine territory compatible, namely the safeguarding of traditional local and coastal fishing”. When will the maximum allowed quota of aquaculture activity for this coastal area be set out? Perhaps as long as the money keeps rolling in.