Marseille closes some beaches to swimming amid pollution concerns

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France’s second city and key tourist hub Marseille has enforced temporary swimming bans on several beaches amid pollution concerns, disappointing locals and tourists hoping to take a dip as temperatures soar.

Seven of the city’s 21 beaches have raised a purple flag — which means no bathing — since the start of the month, on days when hygiene inspections revealed high levels of faecal matter.

Marseille is a tourist hotspot, attracting five million visitors per year thanks to its Mediterranean coastline and sun-kissed climate.

But the city, France’s largest port, struggles with pollution from industry and shipping.

“It’s mostly caused by sanitation problems, but there are also increasing numbers of boats spewing out their grey and black waste before they enter the port,” said Sarah Hatimi, head of the water quality programme at Surfrider Foundation Europe environmental group.

Read France24

Photo by Nouhailler

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