Researchers behind the report analyzed water and sand samples from 422 Moroccan beaches over three years.
Rabat – Approximately 88% of Moroccan beaches have clean waters and sands, according to the 2020 National Report on the Quality of Bathing Waters and Sand in Moroccan Beaches.
The figure translates to 370 beaches that comply with Morocco’s quality standards, while 52 do not conform to the standards.
The Environment Department at the Ministry of Energy prepared the report in collaboration with the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and presented its results during an online press conference on July 6.
Statistics presented in the report were based on a study conducted between 2016 and 2019 through analyzing water and sand samples from 422 Moroccan beaches and comparing them to the Moroccan quality standards. Thirty-nine beaches were excluded due to insufficient data collection.
Most of the beaches that do not conform to quality standards have reached that stage because of wastewater pollution, mass tourism, poor sanitation, and climate change, Minister of Energy Aziz Rabbah explained.
Plastic and polystyrene waste is the most common pollutant in Moroccan beaches, making up 84% of waste found in the monitored beaches.
To counter the effect of water pollution, Morocco has launched several pilot projects for collecting waste from beaches, Rabbah revealed, giving two examples.
The first project, “Adopting the Beach,” was piloted by the ministry’s regional directorate in Tangier and the local Association of Science Teachers. The project benefited four beaches along the Mediterranean coast, enabling them to meet Morocco’s quality standards.
The second project, “Waste Fishing,” was implemented by the Fnideq Association for Underwater Fishing Champions and local authorities. The project turned three sites near the fishing port of Fnideq, in northern Morocco, into clean beaches.
Morocco and the Blue Flag label
During Monday’s press conference, a representative from the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment presented the evaluation of Moroccan beaches nominated for the Blue Flag label.
The international label, first established in 1985 through the Foundation for Environmental Education, testifies for the quality of beaches according to several criteria.
According to the foundation’s representative, 39 out of 102 Moroccan beaches that applied for the label in 2020 obtained it. In 2019, only 21 Moroccan beaches earned the Blue Flag label.
The recently-published report presents a series of recommendations to maintain the quality of waters or improve it.
The recommendations include removing drainage systems that unload wastewater into swimming areas, continuously monitoring drainage and water purification networks, equipping beaches with appropriate infrastructure and hygiene facilities, and raising awareness on ecological behaviors among beachgoers.
Regarding communication tools, the report announced that the National Laboratory for Pollution Study and Monitoring has compiled all available information on Moroccan beaches on a website, ma.gov.environnement.labo, and a smartphone application, “Iplages.”
The information available on the platforms includes itineraries for beaches, the quality of their waters, and an overview of the services available on-site.