As the ongoing debate concerning dogs on blue flags beaches rumbles on, each party vehemently defending their point of view, I wonder who is right.
“My dogs loves playing in the sand.”
“Your dog craps in the sand and then kids build sand castles.”
“But I clear it up”
“You are one of the few. Besides, this beach has Blue Flag status and you are not allowed to bring your dog on the beach!”
“Tough! Who’s going to stop me…”
“My dog loves swimming in the sea.”
“Your dog is a nuisance.”
“No it’s not!”
“Yes it is, you have no control over it.”
“Your dog just cocked its leg over my picnic basket and clothes!”
“It’s never done that before.”
“Well it has now!”
“Dogs are not allowed on this beach.”
“My dog is part of the family.”
“Yes, and my family don’t want to be stepping in its pooh on the beach!”
“Some people are so anal…”
“Please will you control your dog!”
“It won’t hurt you.”
“I’m frightened of dogs, please…”
“Don’t be stupid.”
“People are smelly and noisy.”
“Oh, unlike dogs?”
“Yeah, people should be banned from beaches”
“Do you need glasses?”
“Because that sign means no dogs allowed on this beach!”
“Tough, so what? My dog has every right to be here…”
Is a compromise the answer or should there be an enforced outright ban during the summer season?
Who enforces the rule?
Although the police/GNR enthusiastically clamp cars and issue hefty fines in car parks and roadside parking where “No Parking” signs are displayed, the no dog rule is ignored. I don’t mind dogs if they are kept on a lead, but they are usually not and the beach becomes one big doggy toilet.
While the rules for Blue Flag status suggest:
The beach must be clean.
Access to the beach by dogs and other domestic animals must be strictly controlled.
unfortunately this is not always the case because dog owners blatantly ignore signs:
Regardless of language the signs are pretty clear, so why do people choose to ignore them? Dogs can’t read and no doubt view the beach as an exciting place with lots of nice doggy smells and an opportunity to splash in the sea.
What is The “Blue Flag”?
The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to more than 3850 beaches and marinas in 48 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.
To qualify for Blue Flag status beaches must comply with certain criteria in the following categories:
1. Environmental Education and Information
2. Water Quality
3. Environmental Management
4. Safety and Services
More information available at www.blueflag.org/menu/criteria
Blue Flag beaches in Portugal
There are currently 279 beaches in Portugal with Blue Flag status.
Please share your views in the comments below and/or please take a vote!