In a statement, the Portuguese Association of Carp Fishing (APCF), which has the concession for the Ludic Fishing Zone of the Boavista dam reservoir, denounces what it considers to be “an environmental crime” which it attributes to the Herdade dos Toucinhos.

The APCF accuses the company of “year after year”, perpetrating in “a criminal and completely irresponsible use of water from an environmental and ecosystem preservation point of view” adding that they use the water from the reservoir as if it were for their own “exclusive use”.

The association claims that this why the water level in the reservoir “is criminally low, as a result of the unbridled and uncontrolled uptake of water for irrigation by Herdade dos Toucinhos”.

The consequences “will be of such gravity that it will result in the premeditated and unconscious death of thousands of fish” in the reservoir and they warn that it is “days away from this outcome if nothing is done” while stressing that some of these fish are “the largest specimens in Portugal” of carp.

The general director of the agroindustrial company Herdade dos Toucinhos, Nuno Rodrigues, told Lusa that “it is completely false that there is an environmental crime”, because “the reservoir is above the ecological level, fish are not dying and fish will not die in the Boavista dam”.

“An environmental crime would be if we were using [water] with the reservoir below the ecological level, [but] it is being fulfilled”, he said, referring that the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) knows what the current water level is.

“We have everything right. There is a minimum ecological level to guarantee an already very large margin that the species that are living there and which is being controlled by Herdade dos Toucinhos”, said the company’s general director, who has been in Almodôvar since 2016, has “82 hectares of vines and 10 of aromatic plants” and “employs around 30 people”.