A beach near Marbella, Source: Depositphotos

Marbella to sanction beachgoers who pee in the sea

Marbella to sanction beachgoers who pee in the sea

The fine will be a salty 750 euros

At the end of May, the Marbella city council adopted a set of restrictions with the aim of promoting more civil behaviour from visitors to its many beaches. This includes a slew of sanctionable offences but the one that got the most attention from the public and the media was the threat of fining anyone caught urinating in the sea a whopping 750 euros. What’s more, repeat offenders who couldn’t hold their natural urges would face paying up to 1,500 euros.

Even more than the size of the financial sanction itself, it was the supposed criminal act that got a lot of reactions of disbelief, sarcasm and mockery.

A Spanish TV reporter even went on an impromptu public opinion-sounding mission on the beaches of Marbella in order to find out what people there thought about that.

“Who’s going to find out?” asked one man, who confessed to peeing in the sea more than once. “The jellyfish?” Another person was equally bemused: “Are there going to be police officers on the lookout? I just don’t get it.” These were some of the reactions as reported in The Guardian.

The general atmosphere of sarcasm and sneering must have gotten so intense that the Marbella city council felt the need to clarify what the sanction meant.

Part of a package of restrictions on tourist behaviour

The officials stated that no lifeguards or police officers would be forced to guess whether swimmers are busy urinating in the sea before slapping the fine on them once they come out back on shore.

The aim of the sanctions package, which still has to be approved through public consultation to become a bylaw, is to regulate behaviour on the beach and not in the water.

This is where it all starts making sense if you get out of that first association that popped into your mind. The fines would apply to people relieving themselves while standing on the beach – and that could mean on the sand or in the sea. Either way, it’s unhygienic and unsightly so it’s a good idea to sanction that behaviour.

The bylaw, however, doesn’t only focus on going number 1 on the beach but also seeks to curb anti-social behaviour on the sand strips, such as playing loud music or playing ball games in a way that disturbs other beachgoers.



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