Not for Profit

Published: April 7, 2021 | Updated: April 8, 2021

Meet Nellie 2 as BCP’s own waste warrior fish sculpture highlights harm from marine plastic

The waste warrior fish sculpture for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole makes its beachside debut with (left) Lissie Pollard, Director of Operations, Final Straw Foundation, and Julia Davies, Founder, We have the POWER.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A new waste warrior fish sculpture designed to highlight the harm caused by marine plastic has arrived in Poole.

The installation follows the success of Nellie the fish, who visited Bournemouth’s Pier Approach last July.

The six-metre centrepiece collected plastic bottles and metal cans as part of a month-long visit to highlight the problems caused by throw away waste, in particular when plastic waste reaches our oceans.

Every year:

  • 14bn plastic drinks bottles are bought in the UK
  • 12m tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean, the equivalent of a rubbish truck every minute
  • 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1m sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution

After Nellie, pictured, moved on to spread the message elsewhere, local environmental fund We have the POWER joined forces with the Final Straw Foundation to launch a JustGiving campaign to fund a bespoke waste warrior fish for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Thanks to the generosity of local donors, including Plastic Free Bournemouth, as well as support from Lush and accountants Saffery Champness LLP, funds were soon raised.

Sailboat Trailers in Emsworth were subsequently commissioned to make a new metal fish specifically for the BCP area.

Just like the original, the new fish, pictured, is made entirely from scrap metal including warehouse clothing cages and vehicle parts.

The specially tailored design is mobile, enabling it to move around the area spreading the Reuse, Refill and Reduce message.

The new structure is being adopted as part of the Leave Only Footprints campaign to engage with residents, visitors, businesses and the wider community to help protect the local environment and reduce waste, litter and pollution.

Julia Davies, pictured left, Founder of We have the POWER, said: “Nellie the fish was a great success last July, providing a visual centrepiece for our campaign to tackle beach litter and reduce single use waste.

“We are delighted that local businesses and supporters have rallied around to secure our very own waste warrior fish for the area.

“These are meaningful steps to reduce the tonnes of rubbish blighting our beaches and green spaces by promoting Reuse, Refill and Reduce, rather than single use and throw away. 

“We urgently need to tackle the huge increase in throwaway plastic and other single use items from our beachside bars and cafes.

“To have the likes of Lush and Saffery Champness recognise the importance of reuse and refill over single use waste is inspiring.

“We now need to make the most of this opportunity to encourage everyone to bring their own refillable water bottles and cups on trips to our beaches and parks.”

Rowena Bird, pictured right, Lush Co-founder, said: “We’d prefer to encourage a re-use culture over recycling, so please bring something re-usable to the beach so you don’t have to leave it.

“But if you have been caught out and have had to buy something in single use plastic then feed this fish, made from recycled materials, as opposed to the real fish.

“Leave our beautiful beaches as you would like to find them”

The new waste warrior fish is first visiting Sandbanks this month before moving to Bournemouth in May and Boscombe in July.

Nick Fernyhough, pictured left, Saffery Champness Senior Partner, said: “Tourism is key to the area’s economy, the main attraction being the fabulous beaches and we are keen to support anything that will help maintain these in the best possible condition.

“Doing this in an environmentally friendly way, encouraging less single use waste is a fantastic idea and we fully support the new waste warrior fish which will help the area’s leisure industry.”

Chris Saunders, pictured right, Service Director, Destination & Culture from BCP Council, said; “We are delighted to provide a home for our very own waste warrior fish.

“It represents one part of a larger ambition to engage with and inspire everyone using our beaches, parks and open spaces, particularly over the coming months, to really think about their impact on these environments.

“From stimulating debate about single use plastic and promoting Refill water stations along the seafront to challenging behaviour such as littering, our newest member of the Leave Only Footprints family will help to encourage people to respect, protect and enjoy these spaces responsibly.”

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s newest resident is still in need of a name.

Residents, visitors and members of the public can send in their suggestions by visiting finalstrawfoundation.org/2021/04/06/name-the-fish/ by April 30.

The new name will be announced in May.

More information about the new waste warrior fish and the original Nellie visit can be found here.