Yellow fish fin a way to keep Witney rivers clean

Yellow fish have been spotted out of the water along local roads in West Oxfordshire.

However there’s no need to fear for their safety as these fish are actually helping save their real-life water dwelling friends from being poisoned or made ill by unsuspecting members of the public.

Cartoon fish guard streams and rivers

Oxfordshire County Council’s Lower Windrush Valley Project is working with the Environment Agency on a campaign in Witney which involves putting stickers featuring yellow cartoon fish next to surface water drains that go straight to local streams and rivers.

The aim is to remind people that what they put down the drain has an effect on the local river system and wildlife.

Making the connection

County Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet member for Environment and Economy, said: “People very rarely make the connection between what they put down the drain and what happens to it once it’s out of their hands.

“Wildlife, particularly that which lives in rivers, streams and lakes is taken for granted, but the slightest change in the water – for instance if something nasty gets put down the drain – can have terrible consequences.

“The stickers are eye-catching and unusual enough to make anyone who sees them take a closer look. Hopefully once they realise why they are there they will be pleased to have been warned.”

The Windrush team will be out and about soon in the Station Lane area, attaching stickers and speaking with local business and residents to raise awareness about water pollution.

Fish popping up across the country

The ‘Yellow fish’ initiative was developed by the Environment Agency and is being implemented by local groups with an interest in the environment across the country.

Ian Busby, from GSM Automotive, said: “GSM have been operating from Station Lane for 35 years. We place great importance on our environmental responsibility, so participating in the Yellow Fish Project is very useful in helping communicate the importance of maintaining surface water integrity to our team members.

“Being born and bred in Witney, protection of the local environment is also personally extremely important.”

Stuart Malaure from the Environment Agency said: “The ‘Yellow Fish’ scheme is a brilliant way to show residents and local businesses how to reduce pollution from our towns to our rivers. We’re raising awareness of our message ‘Only rain down the drain’ and the project in Witney will hopefully reduce pollution to the River Windrush.”

For further information: http://oilcare.org.uk/avoid-pollution/yellow-fish/