Press release

Yellow fish remind people how they can reduce sea pollution

Campaign highlights pollution risk caused to sea by pouring fat, oil and other waste down drains and gullies.


The Environment Agency is using yellow fish to alert people on the Kent coast to what happens when they pour fat, oils or other waste down their yard drains or road gullies.

Teams visited Walpole Bay in Margate and Viking Bay in Broadstairs where they painted yellow fish symbols next to drains carrying surface water into the sea. Their aim is to remind residents and business owners how pollution can travel directly into the ocean.

Working with Thanet District Council and Southern Water, on 13 July they stencilled the fish symbols on and around the covers of road drains along the towns’ promenades.

It is part of a national campaign by the Environment Agency to raise awareness of the importance of keeping the country’s bathing waters clean, supported by the mantra ‘Only rain down the drain!’

Initiatives like these have contributed to the great strides made in improving the quality of bathing water over the last 20 years. It is thanks to the hard work of the Environment Agency, Defra, water companies, councils, local communities, farmers and environmental organisations.

The Environment Agency continues to remind the public that everyone has an important part to play in protecting the seas and improving the quality of the country’s bathing waters.

Alan Cansdale, Environment Manager for the Environment Agency, said:

It has been great having the opportunity to work with local people, who also use and enjoy the local bathing waters. The Yellow Fish campaign is a simple and effective way of showing everyone that by making small changes we can all help to reduce pollution entering our rivers and seas which in turn helps to keep the local bathing water clean.

Councillor Jason Savage, Deputy Leader for Thanet District Council, said:

Our partnership work with the Environment Agency and Southern Water has enabled us to highlight the important role that residents, visitors and businesses play in keeping Thanet’s beaches clean. The Yellow Fish campaign is a fantastic way to help get this message across.

Rob Butson, Bathing Water Manager for Southern Water, said:

It’s vital we all work together to protect our beautiful beaches and bathing waters. Campaigns like Yellow Fish really help engage the community and spread the message that only rain should go down the drain!

We’re proud to work in partnership with the Environment Agency and the Council to help play our part in improving bathing water quality across our region.

Published 25 July 2018