Holidaymakers planning a trip to the Canary Islands have been advised to be prepared for issues such as sewage spills, marine litter, and excessive urban development in certain areas by a Spanish environmental group called Ecologistas en Acción (Ecologists in Action). The group recently released their annual rankings of beaches with the most severe environmental conditions in their Banderas Negras (Black Flags) 2024 report.

After examining 8,000km of the Spanish coastline, the report identified 48 beaches with black flag status, with two flags per province or city. This year, the reasons for the black flag status included chemical spills, coastal development, and pollution from chemicals, light, and noise. Other environmental concerns listed in the report were purification problems, accumulation of marine litter, port urbanization, and the dumping of plastic pellets.

The Canary Island authorities were criticized in the report for allowing the islands to accumulate an ecological footprint that is 27 times larger than its actual size. The group highlighted the issues of touristification and urbanization that particularly affect the Canary Islands, with the local population rallying against threats to the conservation of the islands and the well-being of future generations.

Specific beachfront hotels in Fuerteventura, Tenerife, El Hierro, and La Palma were mentioned in the report for failing to comply with environmental laws and ensuring the restoration of the ecosystem. Even the popular Playa Blanca beach in Lanzarote received black flag status due to a sewage spill that led to its temporary closure in May.

Other popular holiday destinations like Malaga, Barcelona, Alicante, and the Balearic Islands were also found to have some of the worst beaches in Spain in terms of sustainability efforts. The report highlighted issues such as illegal anchoring of private boats at Talamanca Beach in Ibiza causing harm to marine life, fecal pollution incidents at El Amerador Beach in Alicante, and littering of the Malaga coastline during the San Juan festival.

The article lists the 48 ‘black flag’ beaches across various regions in Spain, including Catalonia, Valencia, Andalucia, Galicia, Basque Country, Balearic Islands, Melilla, Ceuta, and the Canary Islands. These beaches have been identified as having serious environmental concerns that need to be addressed for the well-being of both the marine ecosystem and visitors.

It is essential for both authorities and tourists to be aware of these environmental issues and work towards sustainable solutions to protect these beautiful beaches for future generations to enjoy. By taking proactive measures and raising awareness, we can help preserve these natural treasures for years to come.