Twleve beaches in Malta have again been again awarded the International Blue Flag eco label for Sustainable Development - but no marinas have been given the coveted status.

The 32 criteria that are audited cover four main areas being environmental protection and awareness on the beach and surrounding areas, health and safety, sustainable beach management and accessibility to all and bathing water quality.

For the northern hemisphere, 3,687 beaches, 679 marinas and 55 operator boats have been awarded. The southern hemisphere results will be announced towards October this year.

Blue Flag International urged marinas to seek certification, saying would guarantee a level of quality, sustainable development and commitment to keep our seas clean.

The Flag award ceremony will be held in Malta later on in May. Blue Flag is represented in Malta by Nature Trust – FEE Malta.

• Fond Għadir Bay – Sliema
• Westin Dragonara Resort beach – St Julian's
• St George's Bay – St Julian's
• Qawra bay – St Paul's Bay
• Buġibba Perched Beach – St Paul's Bay
• Mellieħa Bay – Mellieħa
• Golden Sands Bay – Mellieħa
• Għajn Tuffieħa Bay – Mġarr
• Islands Edge Beach (Paradise Bay Hotel) – Mellieħa
• Ramla Bay – Xaghra, Gozo
• Ħondoq Ir-Rummien Bay – Qala, Gozo
• Marsalforn Bay – Marsalforn, Gozo