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Should The Fisherman Loose Their Livelihoods?

Dear friends,

Moving forward to September 2015 …

Pedro is a 50 year old fisherman in Olhao with a family of 6 to support. He received notification that he is NOT ALLOWED to fish between Vila Real de Santo Antonio and Faro because of gas and oil exploration taking place. He has just been told that 6000 km2 have been blocked off and access denied to all the fishermen in that area. He is devastated.


Lagos, 22 October 2013: ASMAA, the Algarve Surf and Marine Activities Association said today that they are impressed that within a few weeks of being appointed as the new commandant to the “Capitania de Lagos”, Commandant Carvalho Pinto has called on the various players involved in the commercial and tourism driven Surf Sector in the Algarve and its representatives to participate in a series of round-table meetings.

If you are interested in attending the next Academy of Surfing training program just follow the link to their page.

2-3 Nov 2013 Level 1 SUP Enclosed Flat Water 4 Nov 2013 Level 2 SUP Exposed Waters 5 Nov 2013 Leel 3 SUP Begginner

26 September 2013

Good day to all of you!

First we say a huge thanks for feeling that this initiative merits your support.

We are preparing ourselves for a round of “Awareness Workshops” all over the Algarve in the coming months.

Tomorrow a team from ASMAA will be attending the Gulbenkian Foundation launch of their “Oceans Initiative” in Lisbon. We will be armed with loads of questions regarding the apparent conflict of interest between the Gulbenkian’ Ocean Initiative and its declared objectives versus the role that Partex as a partner in the oil and gas exploration program has. (To refresh your memory, the Gaulbenkian Foundation owns Partex 100%)

Decommissioning and Abandonment

The decommissioning of onshore/offshore facilities occurs at the end of their commercial life, typically after 20–40 years, i.e. when the reservoir is depleted or the production of hydrocarbons from that reservoir becomes unprofitable. It involves removal of buildings and equipment, restoration of the site to environmentally-sound conditions, implementation of measures to encourage site re-vegetation, and continued monitoring of the site after closure.

Planning for decommissioning is an integral part of the overall management process and should be considered at the beginning of the development during design, and is equally applicable to both onshore and offshore operations.

The development and production is the phase during which the infrastructure is installed to extract the hydrocarbon resource over the life of the estimated reserve. It may involve the drilling of additional wells called development or production wells, the operation of central production facilities to treat the produced hydrocarbons, the installation of flow lines, and the installation of pipelines to transport hydrocarbons to export facilities.

A small reservoir may be developed using one or more of the appraisal wells. A larger reservoir is required for drilling of additional production wells. Multiple production wells are often drilled from one pad to reduce land requirements and the overall nfrastructure cost. 

What Does Gas and Oil Exploration Entail?

There are various activities that form part of the exploration phase in offshore gas exploration.

Exploration surveying

In the first stage of the search for hydrocarbon-bearing rock formations, geological maps are reviewed in desk studies to identify major sedimentary basins. Aerial photography can be used to identify promising landscape formations such as faults or anticlines. More
detailed information is assembled using a field geological assessment, followed by one of three main survey methods: magnetic, gravimetric and seismic.

The Environment and Pollution Threats

We the people of the Algarve are concerned that the government will overlook many risks to our environment, and to us the people residing here and allow the exploration drilling for gas in the Algarve basin to take place without proper consultation with local stakeholders.

Having read many of the comments made both by goverment leaders, Partex and Gulbenkian Foundation executives we are seriously concerned about their view point that gas exploration poses no risks to the environment, nor to the socio-economic sustainability of the Algarve region. We are also seriously concerned about the fact that the goverment representatives have stated officially in writing that an EIA for exploration purposes is not required under Portuguese law.

Environmental Impact Assessments

Why are Environmental Impact Assessments Significant?

The assessments highlights the “worst-case scenarios”.  They provide an understanding of what may happen if mitigation fails or if it is not as effective as predicted. It is essential to establish the significance of different impacts right up front and to understand the responses and the interaction of the environmental system. Hence, the impact interactions and pathways are to be understood and established first.

ASMAA conducted a survey between September 2012 and March 2013, in which just over 6000 members were contacted via e-mail and asked if they had made use of surf schools in the Algarve, if they intended during a holiday to take-up surf lessons, if they had enjoyed their experience in the Algarve, if they would recommend the Algarve to their friends, and many more questions. We received 3115 replies back of which 2289 showed an interest in the surf sector. The replies enabled us to form an idea about:

We wish to congratulate Marcel, an Extreme Algarve surf instructor for the the quick response and for saving two bathers from drowning on 27 August 2013 in Praia da Amoreira.

Sebastian Wolff, the owner of Extreme Algarve Surf School spoke to us about his concern for the fact that the beach lifeguards failed to take action. He also raised concerns about the fact that a beach support Jet-Ski has not been on the beach since the Beach Support consession inspection was conducted.

Filsurf Staff Save 2 Life-Guards

Sebastian Wolff, congratulates Filsurf.

Well done to Fillipe and Miguel from Filsurf whom not only saved 2 bathers yesterday but helped rescue the 2 lifeguards as well in terrible conditions. I ask myself how come there is no rescue craft on the west coast where it is needed, yet at Meia Praia where it is flat and safer, there are jet skis, rescue boats and modern equipment???


Some Background!

Our beaches in the Algarve are under severe attack from property developers.

In the last few years alone we have experienced the drive by a developer to gain access to the Port de Mos beach, and various other developers are targeting Meia Praia in Lagos currently. Then we have the cases of Albufeira and  Olhos d' Água that saw planning permission being granted for developments to be built on cliff tops.

Here are some guidelines!

When asked, most people love their beaches. They are just not aware that their daily actions destroy the very things they like and love. In fact, many of our actions not only destroy beaches but also to a larger extent, our terrestrial and marine environments.

Obviously, our societies will need to make major environmentally friendly adjustments.


Not surprisingly, the main threats to our beaches arise from human activity.

Here are the most important ones, which are:

Global warming, rising seas: As the sea water warms, it expands, raising the sea level by up to 50cm for each degree. As the polar ice caps melt, they release some of the 75m sea water still locked up there. It affects sick beaches but nor healthy ones.

Is Your Beach Sick?

Symptoms of a sick beach

Many of us do not know if our beaches are sick or not. And we often think that the health of a beach has to do with the with the amount of sand either in the sea or on the land. But that is not the case.

There is no need to spend decades of laborious monitoring of the sand in order to qualify the health of a given beach. (In fact sand mass monitoring does not say anything about beach health at all). But some knowledge of a beach's history could serve to advantage; much like a physician takes clues from a patient's history.  

BP rebuked over North Sea oil leak

Norway's oil and gas safety authority blames poor maintenance and serious breaches of regulations for Ula incident.

This is another interesting topic for debate and here are some questions that deserve answers from the surf school community.

Austerity measures, slumping economies and youth unemployment, have all negatively affected the water-sports industry worldwide, but don’t despair … a new market has been identified:

One of the first things that I have heard from many surf school owners in the Western Algarve, when I started putting together the framework for ASMAA, was a demand that the authorities should stop issueing new surf school licenses to any newcomers, alleging beach overcrowding and increased safety risks as the primary areas of concern.

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  • ASMAA - Algarve Surf and Marine Activities Association
    NIPC: 510 381 952
    Tel: 00 351 282 182 103
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    Rua Dr. Alberto Iria
    Lote 12, R/C Esq
    Porto de Môs
    Lagos 8600-580
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