Photo: Blue Grotto Boat Service
The picturesque Blue Grotto beach in Wied iż-Żurrieq has been certified as completely litter-free, making Malta the first island nation in the world to have a beach certified as such by the Ocean Alliance Conservation Member network.
The ‘white flag’ badge of honour came after a diving operation at Blue Grotto, in which divers brought waste out of the sea – with their own hands, so as to protect the seabed. OACM’s chief executive Kristijan Curavić said the beach will now be monitored regularly to ensure it is one of the cleanest beaches in the world.
“By the end of the year, 19 other countries will be given their first white flag, but what makes Malta special is that it is the first island nation in the world to be given one,” Curavić told a press conference last week. “Other island nations like the Bahamas, the Seychelles and Mauritius are now following Malta’s lead.”
By the end of the year, Malta aims to have nine beaches, including Golden Bay, certified as ‘white flag’ beaches by the OACM, in a major operation that is estimated to see a hundred tonnes of rubbish lifted from the Maltese seabed.