Offshore aquaculture project off VRSA is under public consultation

Company responsible for the project presented to APA a Proposal for Defining the Scope of the Environmental Impact Study

Credits: Mariculture Systems

The Proposal for Defining the Scope of the Environmental Impact Study of the “Maricultura de Vila Real de Santo” António project, which envisages the installation of an aquaculture platform offshore off VRSA, is under Public Consultation from this Wednesday, March 27th, until April 17th, announced the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA).

The project was presented by the company MSP – Mariculture Systems Portugal Unipessoal and consists of the proposal to install an aquaculture offshore, which will be the first of its kind in the world, using cutting-edge technology, much of it new and recently developed, and will allow the production of sea bream and sea bass on the high seas.

Basically, what the company intends, at this stage, is to develop “the environmental studies necessary for environmental licensing”, requiring, for this, the Environmental Impact Assessment authority, which is the APA, to evaluate and comment on this proposal , which defines «the work to be carried out in the Environmental Impact Study (EIA) to which it relates, as well as the methodologies and the degree of depth of analysis to be taken into account in each of the environmental factors that will be analyzed in the EIA».

The complete proposal can be consulted here.

«As part of the Public Consultation process, all opinions and suggestions regarding the Proposal for Defining the Scope of the Environmental Impact Study will be considered and assessed. These presentations must be presented in writing and addressed to the President of the Board of Directors of the Portuguese Environment Agency by the end date of the consultation", according to the APA, something that can be done through from the Participa portal.

In the presentation of this project, in April 2023, Peter Beringer, the national director of Mariculture in Portugal, revealed that the idea of ​​this company is to install an aquaculture offshore, 18 kilometers (about 9 nautical miles) south of VRSA, based on a floating platform, surrounded by cages for the production of sea bream and sea bass.

This platform, an investment of around 2 million euros, will have the capacity to produce, ideally, 8 thousand tons per year and will occupy, «at most», an area of ​​40 hectares.

At the time, Yariv Bar Yam, executive director of Mariculture Systems, the Israeli company whose Portuguese subsidiary presented the project, explained to Sul Informação that his organization has developed «a new technology, the first of its kind in the world, which is capable of operating even in storms and when there are gigantic waves», based on a floating platform, but which «is tied to the bottom with chains, so it remains always in the same place».

«It is very low, just 15 meters high. Even when subjected to waves of 10 or 15 meters, thanks to a special exclusive technology, which we invented and patented all over the world, the platform does not move, it does not wobble, it is very stable», explained the businessman.


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