Fewer Blue Flag beaches in Denmark

Coastal municipalities are choosing dogs over international eco-label

A number of coastal municipalities in Denmark are opting out of the Blue Flag certification for beaches because they want to allow dogs to bathe in the sea, reports Jyllands-Posten.

The global environmental label is awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education to beaches and marinas that meet stringent standards, including high water quality, safety and good facilities.

Spreading bacteria
In 2014, it was decided dogs could no longer bathe at Blue Flag beaches, because they are believed to spread bacteria and pollute the water.

The banning of dogs has led Brønderslev, Jammerbugt, Aalborg, Mariager Fjord or Thisted Municipalities to opt out of the Blue Flag community.

Dogs are family
“Pets have become a part of the family and people don’t understand why they cannot take their dogs to the beach,” Niels Krebs Hansen, the head of the technical and environment department at Vesthimmerland Municipality, told Jyllands-Posten.

“Most owners are responsible and make sure to bring along a [poo] bag.”

In the summer of 2015, Denmark was awarded a total of 297 Blue Flags and was among the countries with the highest number of Blue Flag beaches per capita.