Thursday, July 24, 2008

Spanish beaches with black flags

Spanish Coastline has more than 300 black flags

Ecologists in Action, an Ecological group who have been carrying out a survey of the Spanish coastline for over a decade, say that this year they have identified more than 300 black flags dotted around the Spanish coastline.

The black flags refer to points where contamination of the coastline is particularly bad or where the coastline has been damaged irreversibly. They also show points where projects which have not been carried out yet would damage the coastline.

In order to carry out their survey Ecologists in Action have used information provided by diverse universities, the Oceanographic Institute and other Environmental Agencies as well as information provided by the Spanish Environment Ministry.
The results of this year´s survey which were presented in the group´s headquarters in Madrid highlight the unsustainable development of the Spanish coastline with regards to construction, fishing and tourism. Theo Oberhuber, the Coordinator of Ecologists in Action, says that now the Spanish coastline is facing an important crisis which will have significant consequences for the Spanish economy.

He spoke about the constant degradation of the Spanish coastline which would put at risk the activity of these three important sectors of the economy. He said there would be serious economic, social and environmental consequences due to the intense activity in these sectors at the moment.

The results of the survey award 129 black flags and 162 black spots to the Mediterranean, 73 flags and 32 black spots to the Cantabrican coast, 36 black flags and 28 black spots to the Canary Islands, 36 black flags and 54 black spots to the Balearic Islands and 21 black flags and 31 black spots to the Golf of Cadiz.
The Mediterranean coast was identified as the most contaminated and the most damaged by the denaturalization of its coastline. Jorge Sáez, the spokesperson for Ecologists in Action, said that none of the regions on the Spanish Mediterranean filtered their waste water sufficiently.

The survey also showed that although the Mediterranean was the most contaminated the Golf of Cadiz and Cantabrican coast were also more contaminated now than they had been in the past decade. Jorge Sáez said that regional authorities on the Cantabrican coast had used its vast capacity to hide waste where nobody would detect it.

According to figures from the UN over the last decade building projects in Galicia (800,000 houses have been built), and in Asturias (30,000 houses) and new housing projects such as the one in the nature reserve of Urdaibai in the Basque Country all threaten coastal ecosystems in these areas.

The areas most seriously affected according to this survey are Murcia (32 flags and 68 black spots); Mallorca (36 flags and 54 black spots); Asturias (28 flags and 18 black spots); Cadiz (16 flags and 24 black spots) and Malaga (12 flags and 24 black spots). However, Huelva which has only 5 flags and 7 black spots is the worst case of industrial contamination in the whole of Europe according to Sáez

Related: Best beaches in Spain
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posted by Euroresidentes at 11:58 AM



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