ANP | WWF is set to begin work on their programme-supported barrier removal at the end of July

July 18, 2022

On July 25th, Associação Natureza de Portugal (ANP) in association with WWF (ANP|WWF), in partnership with the Municipality of Alcoutim, will begin the demolition of the Galaxes Weir on the Odeleite River. ANP|WWF will be the first civil entity in Portugal to remove an obsolete river barrier and this will be the third programme-supported demolition this summer.

Removing this weir will improve habitat conditions for several endangered fish species, such as the saramugo – a species of endangered non-migratory fish in Portuguese fresh waters, endemic to the Guadiana river basin – and eel. The removal will reconnect 7.7 km of the river which, in turn, will boost the conservation of fish populations and several species of riverside birds and iconic mammals, such as the otter and the endemic and threatened Iberian lynx.

This removal will also have socio-economic advantages, including the promotion of rural tourism activities, as well as benefits for fishermen, as the restoration of river continuity allows healthier ecological conditions for fish populations with high economic value.

“It didn’t make any sense to maintain a river barrier in our municipality that never served its purpose nor brought benefits to the population. We took care to make the local population aware of this project so that they could perceive the benefits resulting from the removal of this dam for the region”, says Paulo Paulino, vice-president of the Alcoutim City Council.

*UPDATE: Since the publication of this news, the barrier removal has been postponed until later this year.

Related News

Call for applications – submission deadline 4th April 2024 

February 19, 2024

Call for applications – submission deadline 4th April 2024 

The European Open Rivers Programme is pleased to announce a new call for applications from 21st February 2024, with a […]

Open Rivers Programme wraps up 2023 with support to eight new projects

January 8, 2024

Open Rivers Programme wraps up 2023 with support to eight new projects

As we bid farewell to 2023, the Open Rivers Programme is thrilled to announce its support for eight additional projects, […]

Free Flow Conference 2024 – register today

January 8, 2024

Free Flow Conference 2024 – register today

Secure your place for the Free Flow Conference 2024! Organised by the World Fish Migration Foundation & Institute of Fisheries […]