The fishing port of Olhão, where the factory is installed, has no sweage treatment. (Photo: Stock File)
New fish factory unable to operate for a year
Thursday, January 19, 2012, 03:30 (GMT + 9)
The new factory of the Companhia de Pescarias do Algarve, which opened a year ago in the town of Olhão with an investment of EUR 1.3 million, is closed due to lack of connection to the municipal sewer.
The fishing port of Olhão, where the factory and a delegation of Docapesca are installed, has no sewage treatment, a situation that causes the effluent to be directly discharged into the Ria Formosa.
According to the President of the Algarve Basin Region Administration, Valentina Calixto, "there must not be any discharge of wastewater into the river, as it is happening."
In this port area, which is managed by the Port Institute of Shipping (PIS), there are warehouses and factories linked to the fisheries sector.
At this time, the effluents are discharged into the north end of the port, and the fish freshly caught in the sea is washed in contaminated water.
Factory Companhia de Pescarias do Algarve has a capacity to process 1,800 tonnes of shellfish and 2,850 tonnes of fish.
According to economic studies conducted, the annual turnover is estimated at around EUR 11 million, of which 70 per cent would be sent abroad.
PIS director, Brandão Pires, remarked the "lack of authorization from the Ministry of Economy" to launch the connection to the existing pumping station at the port and the Station for Wastewater Treatment (SWWT) –already built – integrated to the water network of Algarve.
Meanwhile, Companhia manager, Antonio Farinha, says the situation has become "untenable".
"The problem must be resolved by the end of next month. This is an urgent situation", he said.
To solve the problem of the factory it would be enough to build an extension of the wastewater network, a work worth EUR 20,000.
A source at the Region Hydrographical Management (RHM) of Algarve told Lusa agency that it was proposed to Companhia to create a storage system through tanks for discharges.
A cannery of EUR 2.5 million will soon be opened in the area and will have to face the same problem, if the situation is not solved.
By Analia Murias