A €10 million offshore aquaculture facility capable of producing around 1,500 tons of fish per year is due to be built in Vila Real de Santo António, the local council announced.
National fishing authority Docapesca and Seaculture (an aquaculture business belonging to major Portuguese retail group Jerónimo Martins, which owns the Pingo Doce supermarkets) signed the project’s concession contract on Wednesday, March 1 at the local Lota (fish market).
The aquaculture unit will create 40 jobs and include a fish farm with 28 “production units at sea”, the construction of an operational building with a warehouse and a fish packaging area, and a “support pier”.
The project is due to be completed by 2025, when the unit is expected to be capable of producing around 1,500 tons of sea bream and sea bass.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Maria do Céu Antunes; the President of Docapesca’s Administration Board, Sérgio Faias, and the Head of the CEO’s Office of Seaculture, João Ferreira.
The Seaculture representative said that the project represents a “commitment to the region”, adding that the Algarve has all the right conditions for offshore fish farming.
The project was also celebrated by VRSA Mayor Álvaro Araújo, who described it as a “strategic partnership which will contribute to the development of the borough and its economic fabric by creating more jobs”.
The local mayor also revealed that the council has received a proposal to open an eight-hectare fish canning factory in the town, which he said would revive the town’s fishing traditions. Araújo also said he called on the minister to help create the conditions for the project to move forward.
The idea was welcomed by Maria do Céu Antunes, who vowed to evaluate the project and support any projects that contribute to the development of the fishing sector and aquaculture.
Updated on March 9