National fishing authority Docapesca is due to launch a study to identify the “existing support infrastructure” along the Guadiana River between Vila Real de Santo António in the Algarve and Mértola in the Alentejo.
The goal is to make navigation of the Guadiana “more dynamic and efficient” and to “put the river at the service of the population”, allowing tourism activity to blossom in the area while also protecting its natural habitats and heritage, said Docapesca president Sérgio Faias.
The study will be carried out with the help of four local councils: Mértola, Alcoutim, Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António.
These four boroughs are involved due to the plan that will see port authorities transferring some of their responsibilities to local councils, Faias told Lusa news agency.
Explained the Docapesca president, the study will also seek to identify the “socioeconomic characteristics” of the many communities that live along the river, so that “each municipality can plan which investments are better for their populations”.
He also said Docapesca has invested around €600,000 since 2014 to “improve safety and support conditions” along the river, namely in the renovation and replacement of existing infrastructure.
“Since Docapesca took over jurisdiction of the Guadiana, following the extinction of IPTM (Port and Maritime Transports Institute), investments have been made to improve safety and replace existing equipment but not to identify potential new infrastructure which would improve how we take advantage of the river’s potential as a navigable route – this is what we are doing now,” Faias concluded.