The real issue behind the problems facing Olhão shellfishermen centres on corruption. Corruption covers everything in Portugal. It is behind every problem. In Ria Formosa everyone knows it, can see it, and can certainly smell it!
It has to do with the ETARs (sewage treatment plants) built in Olhão, behind Lidl supermarket and the other in Faro, near the back of Renault. If you compare the ETAR of Albufeira, for example, with the one built in Olhão, you will instantly be able to appreciate that the latter has one tank too few and all the decomposition of sewage is therefore done by adding artificial enzymes to speed up decomposition.
It is the toxic build-up of these enzymes that is killing the life of Ria Formosa, not the sewage – but either way the authorities do not want to admit to this, as then they would be admitting to the whole thing being their fault! Questions would be asked – why for instance was the Olhão ETAR built to sub-standard? And of course, they would have to spend a lot of money fixing things! Even more importantly, heads might roll!
What is needed in Olhão is another decantation tank to eliminate the heavy metals (mercury, etc.) and reduce the chemicals (pharmaceutical and industrial) that are getting into the water.
Imagine where they are putting the sewage from Hospital de Faro? Just think of all the poisons that come from there! But no one in Faro is going to say anything to support Olhão because in Faro the fishing is more or less finished and over 70% of the population work for the state! That is how things ‘work’ here!
So now try and imagine anything being done to fix the real issue in this story?!
… Much easier to make a rule that ruins the livelihoods of a few hundred poor fishermen who have no real influence behind them, and no access to corruption.