Number of Algarve’s ‘zero pollution’ beaches more than halves in two years
The Algarve region has 11 ‘Zero Pollution' beaches, a categorisation awarded by environmental association, ZERO, which has analysed water samples from Portugal's tourist beaches in each of the last three years.
Tavira has three such beaches, as does Aljezur which faces exploratory oil and gas drilling late this summer.
The Algarve lost four of last year’s ‘zero pollution’ beaches even thought the total number nationwide has risen from 33 to 44.
Aljezur is in the country’s Top 5, with Amado, Monte Clérigo and Vale dos Homens all noted as pristine. In Tavira, Cabanas-Mar, Ilha de Tavira-Mar and Terra Estreitaremain make the grade this year.
The Vila do Bispo council area is down from four ‘zero pollution’ beaches to two, in 2018.
Also on the 2018 list is Barreta (Deserta) island off Faro, Armona-Ria off Olhão, and Fábrica-Mar in Vila Real de Santo António.
Fuzeta-Mar in Olhão, and Vilamoura in Loulé have been dropped.
Many of the region’s top tourist resorts, including Vilamoura, Praia da Rocha, Armona, Cularta, Albufeira, Monte Gordo, Lagos and Armação de Pêra, did not have their beaches featured.
The shock is that two years ago, 29 of the 71 ‘zero pollution’ beaches were in the Algarve, now the total for the region is just 11. The data comes from the same source, the Portuguese Environment Agency, whose analysis must show values ??of zero or less than the maximum permitted for Escherichia coli and intestinal Enterococci.
The 44 beaches on the list “represent 7% of the total of 608 bathing areas in operation in 2018,’ states Zero.
Of the 18 long-awaited new beach concessions at the newly developed Monte Gordo boardwalk, only six, or maybe eight, will be open this summer.
The feeble excuse given by Luís Romão, the deputy mayor of Vila Real de Santo António, is that “2018 is still a transition year” and that everything will be in place next season. Romão blames the concession licence holders and claims these delays are perfectly normal, as if the council had nothing to do with ensuring that bidders would be open in time.
When the old tourism facilities were demolished, VRSA mayor, Conceição Cabrita, stated that the new boardwalk and its shiny new restaurants and eateries would be ready by May.
The boardwalk is part of the overall coastal development plan and involves the Portuguese Environment Agency which has yet to oversee the completion of gardens, the casino square and a playground along with kiosks and shading.
Those holidaymakers who have booked Monte Gordo with the full assurance from the council that everything would be ready, will be disappointed.
For the national list of ‘zero pollution’ beaches, click HERE
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