THE list of Spain’s most polluted black flag beaches has been released.

The world famous blue flags are awarded for beaches that are kept to the highest standard, with Andalucia alone receiving 28 this year.

Spain however also has some beaches that have not been well kept and they’re an environmental disaster, namely 48 beaches.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the first Black Flags report and includes an extra section reporting on the situation in the last six years, where some 284 black flags have been awarded.

This year’s list includes two beaches from each coastal province, with Litoral de Estepona, along with Nerja being the two from Malaga province.

Black Flag Beaches
The black flag beaches in Spain

“Despite the fact that only two examples are used for each province, unfortunately the list should include more beaches,” Ecologistas en Accion points out.

The discharge of water along with poor purification are among the most common problems identified among these polluted beaches.

Invasive species, erosion on sandy beaches, or ‘unjustified’ port expansion projects are also factors that have been taken into account when awarding black flags.

In its report, Ecologistas en Accion highlights the threat that storms such as Gloria – that plagued Spain in February – pose to many beaches.

“We must reflect on whether the response to these storms will continue to need a huge amount of money to restore damaged infrastructure or whether we should propose a new management model that is integrated within the natural environment.”

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