Expatica news

Dumped sludge from Tavira’s Gilão river causing sea channels to silt up

TaviratempBridgeThe Left Bloc continues to push the government over the silting up of the Tavira sand bank caused, claim the Bloquistas and local fishermen, by the dumping of dredged sludge too close to shore.

The dredged material from the dredging of the Gilão River is being dumped at a distance of just 1,000 metres from the shoreline, too close for comfort, with fishing organisations claiming that this sludge will end up shifting and blocking the channels used by the local fishing fleet.

In a press statement, the Left Bloc said that the questions it has submitted to government, in documents signed off by MPs João Vasconcelos, Carlos Matias, and Jorge Costa and addressed to the Ministers of the Sea and of Environment, focuses on the “urgency” of knowing if the Government is also going to carry out deep dredging in the channels just off Tavira and, while they are at it, knowing the dredging plans for the entire Ria Formosa area.
According to Local MP, João Vasconcelos, the situation has caused despair in the fishing communities of Tavira, Santa Luzia and Cabanas, with Tavira channel frequently being closed off to fishing vessels and tourist boats.
Also according to the MPs, clearing out the channels at the mouth of the Gilão and the nearby shipping channels at Santa Luzia and Cabanas, “have been successively postponed by the Government which has led to an almost total blockage.”
The Association of Fishermen and Shipowners of the Eastern Algarve has joined the argument, saying the dumped sludge will contribute to the future silting of the bar and that it destroys productive fishing grounds.
In October 2017, a resolution recommended that the Government, “promotes and works together with the scientific community, fishing communities and associations promoting safety in maritime work, studies and concrete actions to solve in a robust way the problem of the silting in the various national fishing ports where silting occurs cyclically.”

The point here is that the scientific and fishing community claims not to have been consulted at all and the government’s contractor is making the shipping channels more dangerous, not less so.