Palma.—Spain's beaches and marinas still continue to have the most Blue Flags of all participating countries and states around the world, but this year, the Balearics, in particular Majorca, has slipped up with its environmental protection of some of its beaches.

The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach or marina meets its stringent standards.
The Blue Flag is a trademark owned by FEE which is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation consisting of 65 organisations in 60 member countries in Europe, Africa, Oceania, Asia, North America and South America.

In total, the Balearics's beaches and marinas have been awarded 46 flags this year, one less than last year.
Stripped of flags
In Majorca, the five beaches stripped of their flags are Oratori in Calvia, Font de Sa Cala in Capdepera, Cala Marçal and Cala Ferrera in Felanitx and Cala Mondrago in Santanyi.

The only good news for Majorca was that Es Dolç in Ses Salines won a flag this year.
However, it was Minorca that saved the Balearics's beaches blues with the island winning five new flags along with Majorca's marinas.
In total, Balearic marinas have been awarded 16 blue flags this year, five less than last year.
Those marinas making the grades in Majorca are the Club de Mar in Palma, Marina Port de Mallorca, Club Maritimo San Antonio on the Playa de Palma, Marina Palma Cuerentena, the Real Club Nautico in Palma, the Club Nautico S'Arenal, Port Colonia Sant Jordi, Port de Cala Bona, Port de Cala Rajada, the Port of Alcudia, Port de Soller and the yacht club in Andratx.

Those Majorcan marinas to have lost their flags are Cala Nova Yacht Club, Puerto de Cala Figuera in Santanyi, Portocolom and Port de Porto Cristo.
FEE's Blue Flag criteria include standards for water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria. The Blue Flag is sought for beaches and marinas as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards.

Spain is top
In total, Spain has been awarded 648 Blue Flags this year, eleven more than last year confirming its position as the participating country with the most eco-friendly beaches and marinas.

Blue Flag beach criteria includes information relating to coastal zone ecosystems and natural, sensitive areas in the coastal zone being displayed along with information about bathing water quality.

A beach management committee must also be established to be in charge of instituting environmental management systems and regular environmental audits of the beach facilities must be carried out.