A campaign to improve reporting and the government’s response to oil pollution in the island’s harbours has been launched.

The joint campaign between the Department of Infrastructure and the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture aims to raise awareness with boat owners, the general public and visitors and will emphasise prevention tips and signpost for incident reporting.

The government say the work is important to protect the harbour environment from unnecessary pollution. A series of guidelines for harbour users (including recreational and fishing fleet) has been issued to ensure harbour conservation.

They include:

  • Advice for managing engine leaks
  • Directions for removing waste oil
  • Regular use of vessels to reduce the build-up of foul on the hulls
  • Key information for alerting the authorities of pollution leaks

Signs will also be installed at harbours around the island to provide information on pollution prevention and the legal consequences of not undertaking effective action.

Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, Clare Barber MHK, said: ‘Harbour pollution poses a significant threat to marine life. Just one litre of oil, or fuel, can pollute over one million litres of water.

‘Harmful toxins greatly disrupt the delicate balance of the natural wildlife and species found in our unique UNESCO Biosphere here in the Isle of Man. We must do all we can to protect the delicate balance between human activity and nature to prevent further damage.’

Infrastructure Minister, Tim Crookall MHK, added: ‘It is crucial for every individual to play their part in preventing pollution and reporting incidents promptly. With your help, we can find the source to stop the problem as quick as possible.

‘The harbours division team is on hand to support anyone with questions or concerns about pollution in our island’s harbours. ’ For more information and updates on the campaign, visit www.gov.im/harbour-pollution/

To report an issue, please phone the marine operation centre on 686612.