The President of Olhão Municipality, Francisco Leal, has called for the relevant organisations to provide urgent help for hundreds of families in the Ria Formosa whose livelihood has been seriously affected by a ban on shellfish gathering and production because of pollution (see page of Algarve Resident, September 21).
After a meeting with representatives of the Cooperativa de Viveiristas Formosa and the producers Olhãopesca, Leal said: “This is a very serious social problem.”
Some families are still waiting for compensation from the Fundo de Compensação Salarial (Salary Compensation Fund) because of bureaucratic delays.
The Secretary of State for Fisheries has been urged to take immediate steps to find a solution to this impasse as more than one month after the ban was imposed, the fishermen and their families are suffering from food shortages.
António da Branca, of Olhãopesca, an association which represents about 40 fishermen along the coastline, said: “Including the people who assist on land, there are 150 individuals without work or income as in many cases the shellfish harvesting is their only source for earning.”