MORE than half of Britons are anxious about swimming in the sea because of pollution, new research has found.

A poll conducted to coincide with World Oceans Day, which is celebrated tomorrow, discovered that 58 per cent of respondents were concerned about going into the sea amid growing concerns over water contamination.

It also showed that more than half (56 per cent) of Britons had seen litter being dropped by the seaside, and 73 per cent said that more could be done to raise awareness online about better protection for oceans, seas, lakes and rivers.

Researchers from YouGov polled 3,649 UK and US respondents online for the .BLUE internet domain.

Roland LaPlante at .BLUE said: ''It is encouraging to see that so many people are beginning to recognise the water crisis facing the world today.

''We owe it to our children to take the steps needed to keep our water pure, plentiful and blue for the future.''