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