We are deeply disappointed said Laurinda Seabra ASMAA’s CEO. Seabra went on to say that she cannot understand how pressure from a few surf schools that have been embroiled in some very unsavoury actions in the past can have such results. She believes that Commandant Santos Pereira missed the perfect opportunity to rectify mistakes of the past.
Seabra further stated “… but let’s give credit were credit is due. Commandant Santos Pereira is new, and he is trying to do the best under difficult circumstances, just a pity that he chooses to take the easy way out instead of dealing with the real issues head-on. I’m of the opinion that a legislation that affects the entire commercial surf industry cannot be done, using as a benchmark the protection of a few surf schools. The industry is much bigger, and we need to look at the macro picture rather than the micro”
The proposed new legislation needs to take into account new tourism laws that we expect to be published in the Portuguese government gazette shortly, said Seabra, which will see the surf sector footprint being extended to include commercial surf school providers in all 27 EU countries.
To focus just on the “wants and demands” of a small number of schools is in our opinion short-sighted. For the new legislation to be perceived as fair and to have legitimacy we need legislation that looks at the total impact that other laws will have in our surfing shores and not just the “wishes” of a few surf schools that all they want is to protect their turf.
The Capitania now proposes to start a task group to assist in the design of legislation for the 2014 summer season. Although we welcome the creation of the task group, we are nonetheless concerned with the latest communiqué from him which demands to know which specific surf schools everyone is representing, being fully justified by Commandant Santos Pereira as not “having to deal with each and every surf school” legally operating in the Western Algarve beaches.
It appears that Commandant Santos Pereira is forgetting that this new legislation will impact not only on local surf schools but on many others. As the new tourism legislation makes provision for surf schools spread throughout Portugal and the rest of the EU. Let's not forget as well all the new surf schools in the process of creation currently, as well as the ones being created in the foreseeable future.
Somehow, we are of the opinion that Commandant Santos Pereira may be loosing the plot!