Lagos, Portimao, Albufeira, Faro, Olhão and Tavira began to “manage” areas of their riverfront that, until the day before yesterday, were under the jurisdiction of Docapesca, under the protocols that were signed between the public company and these Algarvian councils, on Monday, the 29th. de Maio, at the headquarters of AMAL – Comunidade Intermunicipal do Algarve, in Faro.
The six municipalities are among the 11, across the country, that have already signed agreements for the transfer of competences with Docapesca, under a decree-law launched in 2019, which makes the Algarve region the one where the process was most successful.
Across the country, revealed Carlos Miguel, Secretary of State for Local Administration and Spatial Planning, who was present at the ceremony, "57 port areas were identified that can and should, some, be transferred to the municipalities".
From here, «21 committees were set up», which resulted in «11 contracts for the transfer of competences, six of which in the Algarve».
Also present at the ceremony was Teresa Coelho, Secretary of State for Fisheries, who, on the sidelines of the session, explained that it was these commissions that decided, “in each case, which areas and competences could be transferred to the municipality. These protocols that we signed today enshrine which are, exactly, the areas that pass to each of the Chambers».
Although each case is different, the competences defined in the law «are related to areas dedicated to recreational boating, to secondary fishing ports - which is not the case for any of these six municipalities -, and to areas of ports without recognized or exclusive port use'.
«The rule is that river fronts and recreational boating are transferred to the municipalities», summarized Teresa Coelho.
One of the most emblematic cases will be that of the riverside area of Faro, namely the dock area and its surroundings, which are now under municipal management.
Sérgio Faias, president of Docapesca, specified that “riverside centers of cities” were involved, which were under the responsibility of the company.
«It makes perfect sense that the municipalities should manage them, because they manage proximity and have a more integrated vision of what the territory is and they can continue and extend what the urban fabric is», he told journalists.
Although, «essentially», what is at stake are «riverfronts and town centres», as well as recreational ports, there are cases in which there is a transfer of fishing villages where there was no first sale.
«There, in the case of Tavira, we have the passage through the Cabanas nucleus, where there is no fish market, and in Portimão, the Alvor area, because there is also no fish market and is very integrated with the fishing nucleus and the town», as well as a part of the waterfront area of Fuseta, although Docapesca reserves for itself the competences in the auction area, in this town in the municipality of Olhão.
Also on the sidelines of the session, António Pina, president of AMAL, recalled that, in some cases, this passing of testimony was almost a pro forma, since some of the signatories «already had management protocols, as was the case of Olhão . An example is the works we did in the gardens and which we are now carrying out on Avenida 16 de Junho, areas that, in both cases, were the domain of Docapesca».
«The transfer of areas in areas under the tutelage of the Administration of the Ports of Sines and the Algarve still needs to be resolved, but this is a process that is more overdue», stressed the also mayor of Olhão.
On the part of Docapesca, added António Pina, almost all processes relating to the Algarve have been concluded.
The efficiency of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, which oversees Docapesca, in streamlining the transfer of powers processes was, moreover, highlighted by Carlos Miguel.
The Secretary of State for Local Administration and Spatial Planning stressed that, in the 21 commissions already created, the interlocutor, on the part of the Central Power, is Docapesca, except in one situation, in which it is the Ministry of Infrastructure».
As for the commissions that are yet to be formed, «all of them, except one, are the responsibility of the Ministry of Infrastructure».
«Our great hope is that the Ministry of Infrastructure sees this in a different way, that is, sees this as a benefit for the territory», said the member of the Government.
Photos: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação