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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 April, 2005, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Crackdown on harbour's pollution
Whitehaven Harbour
The harbour is central to the town's regeneration.
Measures are being taken to reduce the amount of pollution and litter in a Cumbrian harbour.

The Environment Agency has installed a special boom - a floating barrier designed to trap oil and debris - at Whitehaven's harbour.

It was fitted by a team of divers and is designed to float on the water, rising and falling with the tide.

The harbour plays a central role in the town's regeneration, but concerns were recently raised about pollution levels.

Environment Agency Officer Duncan Fyfe said: "Oil affects the water environment in a number of ways. Not only is it unsightly and the cause of unpleasant smells, it is also harmful to wildlife.

"Birds are particularly vulnerable because oil damages their naturally waterproof feathers.

"Oil also reduces the oxygen levels in the water and taints the flesh of fish which are exposed to it."

The agency says it also intends to find out exactly where the pollution is coming from. It says a likely source is discarded motor and cooking oil.

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