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10 Practical Rules for Safe Scuba Diving

Recreational diving is still a relatively young sport. Created in the 1950s, it gained acceptance in the '60s and '70s, boomed in the '80s and grew by great leaps in the '90s. If you've been diving for decades, there's a good chance that not everything you learned in your open-water class still applies. New research and equipment have made diving safer and more enjoyable than ever - if you know the rules.

We decided to take a look at some of them and see how they've evolved.

Author: Dr. Martin Robards

25 years since the oil tanker spilled millions of gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Alaska, we remain callously unprepared to mitigate a future oil spill in the Arctic waters.


Exxon Valdez Spill, 25 Years Later

Just before midnight March 24, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef in Alaska, causing one of the largest oil spill in U.S. history. In the weeks that followed, a shocked world watched as the tanker spewed approximately 11 million gallons of oil into the formerly pristine and delicate Prince William Sound.


On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez super tanker ran aground in Alaska’s beautiful and biologically rich Prince William Sound. The United States had become complacent about the risks of a major oil spill, but the sight of oiled seabirds in this spectacular setting shocked the nation into action.  Approximately 11 million gallons (257,000 barrels) of oil spilled into Prince William Sound, and approximately 1,300 miles of shoreline were impacted.

The Algarve has many beautiful beaches without a doubt; and all of them are being promoted for recreational purposes – nothing wrong with that! But we need to look at our beaches and surrounding ocean not in isolation but as part of the bigger picture.

After nearly 18 months of negotiations between ASMAA (Algarve Surf and Marine Activities Association), the AESCV (Associacao de Escolas da Costa Vicentina) and Lagos Capitania, a more fair licence process has been established in 2014 for the issuing of licences to any interested Surf Schools in the Western Algarve.

The EU has adopted new laws in 2013 aimed at increasing the transparency of any of a EU members state (government) income from the oil and gas industry. This can be seen as a move that should be a game-changing breakthrough on corruption. But in Portugal where corruption is rife and the goverment is well knowed for ignoring EU directives and laws ... we will have to wait and see. But it gives us another avenue to ask questions, don't you agree?


Os novos editais para as escolas de surf, Edital nº 002/2014 e 003/2014 publicado no dia 15 de Janeiro de 2014 e entrará em vigor no dia 1 Maio de 2014. Tome nota de que os pedidos de licenças para 2014 encerra no dia 28 de fevereiro de 2014.

The new by-laws, Edital’s Nos. 002/2014 and 003/2014 published on 15 January 2014 and will be effective as from 1 May 2014. Take note that application at the Capitania de Lagos for surf school operating licences for 2014 closes on 28 February 2014.


Bombshell Study Finds Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Production Far Higher Than EPA Estimates
By Joe Romm, Climate Progress, Nov. 25, 2013

A major new study blows up the whole notion of natural gas as a short-term "bridge fuel" to a carbon-free economy.

It is with interest that I have been following the rise of many artists across the globe against the hypocrisy of oil industry major players and their sponsorship of the arts, culture, education and sports. Maybe, it will rub off in Portugal, and our artists and sportsman will take a stand on this issue as well.

ASMAA is deeply concerned about the fact that the Portuguese government has given the go ahead for the development of deep-offshore gas and oil exploration and commercialisation under pressure from the oil and gas lobbying groups that includes companies such as Repsol, Partex (aka Gulbenkian Foundation), Galp, Mohape and Petrobras.

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.

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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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