The exploitation of salt in the Aveiro region dates back to a time before the existence of the very Ria de Aveiro.
The first written document about the salty Aveiro predates the founding of the nation.
The instability of the bar (isolation from the sea) was a decisive factor in the variation, over the centuries, and the number of salt production, which resulted in periods of decline, interspersed with periods much for their production, as was the case in 1572 that, given the favorable situation of the state bar, and the high index progressive commercial and maritime Aveiro became one of the best ports of Portugal, with a large increase in the sale of salt and fishing in the Cod. In 1808 finally opened the new bar (artificial system that allows entry of sea water), because of exceptional importance for the future of Aveiro and your entire region.
Morphologically, the Ria de Aveiro is a lagoon system. In this system fall into the marshes that border the islands where are the salinas. In recent decades the marsh including decreased significantly due to port construction.
In the water column inhabits a diverse set of beings. Besides bacteria and algae, we still have a number of organisms such as molluscs, crabs, worms, fish, etc..
The saline integrate a more or less complex of ditches, canals, tanks and ponds and evaporation ponds separated by dikes, embankments and marachas colonized by typical vegetation of the marshes. The saline, although an artificial habitat, are of great value to waterfowl, allowing a remarkable balance between economic use of a resource and conservation of natural values. When landscape value of salt should be added the fact that they are true sanctuaries of biodiversity mercy of differences in salinity, depth and vegetation that are inside it, allowing coexistence in a relatively confined area, a wide variety of organisms. For birds, the salt still have the attraction not to suffer the influence of the daily tidal cycle, maintaining a reduced height of water, thus offering them conditions for food and shelter particularly advantageous. Of the 30 bird species in Ria de Aveiro, 2 almost exclusively use the salt, nesting in them.
The Northwest city, are situated navies of Aveiro. In the 60s, was the second district with more salt (270), the first being the Sado estuary (300). Of these, only 49 were in full swing in 1994, many of them under the lease. Currently, only 10 are working, and the Navy Island Puxadoiros which alone continues to salt according to traditional methods and that has certificate.
The harvest season begins in March with the preparation of marine extraction elapsing since the end of spring until September / October, when the first rains begin and is needed to cover the mounds of salt that have accumulated over production period. The extraction process is, even today, totally handmade.
The life of the man who makes the navy - the Marnoto - is tough and their lack of technical instruction is balanced by its broad and traditional experience. The tools which are secular use, the work rudimentary and primitive.