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Boat owners urged to reduce marine pollution

30 April 2015

Boat owners can help reduce marine pollution by following new guidance published this week, which will be available at the Jersey Boat Show.

The Department of the Environment and the Ports of Jersey are working together to raise awareness of the impact of pollution on the marine environment and reduce the number of pollution incidents from boating activities in Jersey waters.


Pollutants include oil, fuel, litter, anti-foul and contaminated bilge waters.  They can harm wildlife and damage the marine environment. Chemicals from anti-foul, for example, can stop marine life reproducing. Litter can trap marine wildlife and seabirds mistake floating plastic bags for food.

How to reduce pollution

Suggestions for reducing the possibility of pollution include:

  • if bilge water is contaminated with oil or fuel, don’t pump it into the sea but put into secure containers for proper disposal on-shore
  • when refuelling, take care not to spill fuel or overfill the tank
  • boats should be fitted with an adequate holding tank for sewage and waste water. If, however, you have to discharge liquid waste at sea, only do it offshore where swimming, wind-surfing or other recreational activities do not normally take place
  • take all your rubbish with you. Do not dispose of it at sea or into marina waters
  • when removing old layers of anti-fouling paint, take care to prevent any material from remaining on the ground or entering the sea
  • clean up when you have finished painting or anti-fouling your boat. Ensure that tins, brushes and debris are collected and disposed of in a recommended manner

Raising awareness

The Director of Environmental Protection, Dr Tim du Feu said “Ensuring that our Island’s marine environment is clean and safe helps maintain a healthy sea and protects the commercial and recreational users. We recognise that the majority of people are responsible and already follow these guidelines. The leaflet is designed to help raise awareness, remind existing and inform new and potential boat owners of the importance of some simple guidelines that will protect the marine environment we all currently enjoy and are proud of.”

Ports of Jersey Group Leisure Manager, Mike Tait said “It may not be the first thing people worry about when they are getting their boats ready for the season, or planning a trip, but we are just reminding people how easy it is to accidentally pollute a marina or local waters and how to reduce the chance of that happening.”

The leaflets will be available at the Jersey-Barclays Boat show 2015 and can also be found on

Reporting pollution

If you notice water pollution, please report it on the pollution hotline tel: +44 (01534) 709535 or Jersey coastguard tel: +44 (01534) 447705 or VHF ch 82.

Download ships and boats pollution prevention guidance leaflet (2.18MB)


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