Environmental authorities condemn new 25 acre mega-clam-farm in Ria Formosa
The DGRM’s (Directorate General for Natural Resources, Safety, and Maritime Services) approval of a mega-clam-farm covering 10 hectares in Ria Formosa has sparked opposition from ICNF and APA, following a complaint filed by the Culatra Island Residents Association (AMIC) after permission was granted for the Aquaculture Activity site to go ahead with being set up.
The approving position taken by the DGRM came under scrutiny from press and locals alike, in light of Barlavento publishing a report about the directorate’s notice concerning the request to install a large aquacultural site in the marine waters of the Natural Park. The site is intended for the growth and fattening of Portuguese oysters, Japanese oysters, and clams, over an area of ??100,002 square meters.
One of the most contested highlights of the document explains that “the opinions of the Institute of Nature Conservation (ICNF) and the Forests and the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) are unfavourable to the intention of setting up the establishment in terms of the place proposed, based on the fact that they believe the area is incompatible with the installation of new marine culture establishments, only in areas already used for this activity”. Despite the two environmental authorities condemning the location of the farm within the natural park, the private company was given a green light anyway.
The DGRM statement also clarifies that “the request for title was made by the company Bivalvia – Mariscos da Formosa Lda.”
As the coordinating body throughout the approval process, the DGRM “made the file available to public authorities which are required to comment on the request, taking into account their respective powers and competences”, explains the statement.
At the same time, and “as determined by the law, DGRM issued Notice No. PT2019ITAA001175703, within 15 days, interested parties will have the opportunity to object to the issuance of the approval”.
This consultation period has been running from 25th November until the 13 December 2019″.
The DGRM has tried to assure that “the publication of the Public Notice”, which appears to be in favour of granting the company permission to set up the aquaculture site, “does not imply the issuance” of permission.
They are trying to cover themselves, claiming that it is simply part of “a legal procedure of mandatory compliance that aims to enable the broadest participation of the interested parties and the citizens in general”.
If the DGRM has listened to the vehement opposition they have faced over this issue, then after the end of the public consultation period, upon examining “all the pronouncements received in this context, as well as the opinions of the entities”, they will notify the interested party that their application has been rejected.
If not, then money speaks louder than words.