Court suspends dredging of River Sado

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 11-12-2019 09:42:00 · 0 Comments

The Administrative and Fiscal Court (TAF) of Almada has provisionally suspended the start of dredging in the river Sado estuary, but the decision is not final, revealed the SOS Sado association's spokesman, David Nascimento.

"The court did not decree the injunction of SOS Sado, which was filed last Friday, but has already cited the Port Authority of Setúbal and Sesimbra (APSS) and the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) and ordered the port authority not to start work," said David Nascimento.

"APSS and/or the APA have the possibility of changing this decision very quickly if they present convincing arguments to the court".

APSS had announced that the dredging of the Sado estuary, as part of the project to improve maritime access to the Port of Setúbal, would begin on Wednesday.

According to the SOS Sado association, if the APSS and/or the APA decide to contest the suspension of dredging, as they did with other previous precautionary measures, everything depends on the court's assessment of the justifications they provide for the work to begin.

The dredging of the Sado estuary (removal of a total of 6.5 million tons of sand, of which 3.5 million tons in the first phase) is being strongly contested by several civic and environmental associations, which consider it an 'environmental attack' and a real threat to the balance of the entire Sado river ecosystem.

The APSS is also facing challenges from the Setúbal fishing associations, which are not satisfied with the disposal of dredged material in the Restinga area near Troia, precisely one of the areas indicated for this purpose in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) issued by the APA.

The associations warn that depositing dredged material in the Restinga area not only constitutes a threat to the livelihood of many fishermen and to biodiversity, namely species such as cuttlefish, sole, skate, octopus, turbot, red mullet, sardines and mackerel", but also could jeopardise navigability in an area commonly used by fishing vessels.


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