Marine pollution control and regulation

Pollution can have a damaging effect on the marine environment and can consequently affect those who use this environment for commercial and leisure purposes.

Jersey’s Environment Agency, along with the Port of Jersey, has many measures in place to respond to and deal with a pollution incident.

Pollution prevention guidance for ships and boats

Controlled waters

Controlled waters are what the law is designed to protect. They include the territorial seas of the Island up to the 12 mile limit and coastal waters (as far as the highest tide) including bays and inlets.


Pollution is what the law is protecting the controlled waters from. It includes the introduction of substances or energy into controlled waters that cause or may cause:

  • hazard to human health or water supplies
  • harm to any living resource or aquatic eco-system
  • damage to any amenity value
  • interference with any legitimate use of controlled waters

It also covers the introduction into controlled waters of a substance or energy that contributes to pollution, but which may not be the sole cause.

Pollution management

One of Jersey Coastguard’s main roles is to ‘ensure cleaner seas’. We have a duty to ensure that all aspects of the marine environment are managed carefully, whether it is within the confines of inner harbours or in coastal or offshore territorial waters.

Pollution management is an area of high priority and all matters relating to anything from oil to chemical discharges into the marine environment are dealt with accordingly.

A pollution incident would normally also involve the Government of Jersey’s Department of the Environment and Department for Infrastructure.

Ramsar sites

The Ramsar designation of certain coastal and offshore areas of Jersey in 2005 has effectively offered protection and conservation measures to the following sites:

  • south east coast of Jersey
  • Les Écréhous and Les Dirouilles
  • Les Minquiers
  • Les Pierres de Lecq (the Paternosters)

Jersey Coastguard has a duty of care to monitor its own activities, as well as those of others within these Ramsar areas and within all other areas under its jurisdiction. Anything from buoy handling work to dredging must be assessed and carried out with care and consideration to the environment.

Reporting a pollution incident

If you have witnessed an incident of pollution, you must report it to Jersey Coastguard on VHF Channel 82 or by calling +44 (0) 1534 447705. This is particularly important if the incident takes place on Ports’ estate or at sea. We will pass the information on to Jersey’s Environment Agency.

The following details are required when reporting a pollution incident:

  • type of incident
  • time of incident
  • location of incident
  • action taken

The Environmental Protection pollution hotline number is +44 (0) 1534 709535. During office hours (Monday to Friday, 08:30 – 17:00) you will reach the duty officer who should be able to respond to the reported incident within one hour.

Water Pollution (Jersey) Law 2000

It is important that our waters remain pollution free. To help protect our controlled waters from pollution the Government passed the Water Pollution (Jersey) Law 2000.

Vessel maintenance

Maintenance of your vessel is extremely important to both your safety and to that of the environment.

You must not jettison litter or discharge oily bilge waste or sewage tanks into the sea, harbours or marinas. This will ensure that you are adhering to local requirements and protecting the rich diversity of marine organisms that inhabit local waters.

Oily waste receptacle tanks and recycling bins are present around the harbours, as well as a mechanical sewage discharge pump in Elizabeth Marina for your convenience.

When you are cleaning your boat, take care not to discharge anti-foul paints into the marine environment and always use environmentally friendly products.

The Island’s marinas have held the prestigious ‘5 Gold Anchor Award’ for many years now, and we would like to keep it that way.