Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Cromarty Community Council produce 35 page objection to proposed ship-to-ship oil transfers

The objection states:  "A similar proposal for Ship to Ship transfer of oil in the Firth of Forth was withdrawn amongst objections from the Local Authority of major spills being possible of the entire tanker capacity - in this case a maximum of 180,000 tonnes.

The application has not demonstrated it contains measures to protect one of the most environmentally sensitive sites in the UK as required by regulation. The Inner Moray Firth has a major concentration of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus. The bottlenose dolphin population is the only known resident population in the North Sea - one of only 2 within the UK both of which are considered to be of importance at European level. It is also the most northerly population and the Moray Firth SAC is the only area in Scotland which is designated for bottlenose dolphins. The anchorage sites are within an area that is highly used by the dolphin population and no consideration of this has been given by the applicant. Should this application be allowed to go ahead, it is considered there is potential to impact on the integrity of the dolphin population, both through operational transfer activities and in the event of oil spill. This will create economic hardship to people and businesses of the town of Cromarty and the wider Black Isle which benefits significantly from growing levels of ecotourism associated with the bottlenose dolphin population. Ecotourism is considered a sustainable and beneficial use of the natural resources of the Cromarty Firth, ship to ship oil transfers bring no benefits except to the Cromarty Firth Port Authority. The Scottish Government initiative “Awakening the Giant” seems not to be considered in this regard."

The full objection and the pages of supporting data can be read here.

The final page states:
"The report was prepared Report prepared in line with concerns from the residents of Cromarty and District by:

Duncan Bowers, Cromarty resident. (Tech IOSH, NEBOSH Dip)
Safety Practitioner (Retired). Licence application experience including Wadenzee licence project under European legislation. North Caspian project licences under The Tehran Convention Framework with trans-border oil spill response planning. Shipbuilding engineering background + 35 years international oil and gas industry experience.


Dr Greg Fullarton, MCIEEM, MSB, C.Biol – Cromarty resident, with BSc. and Ph.D. in marine biology, 20+ years post qualification experience including undertaking HRA’s."


Anonymous said...

Humans have managed to half world fish stocks since the 1970's, we have little or no regard for marine life other than to eat it. Some species of fish have all but disappeared - http://www.fao.org/newsroom/common/ecg/1000505/en/stocks.pdf

I appreciate that the dolphin population has a cuddly status and in the UK we tend not to consume them. However ship-to-ship oil transfers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marine conservation or rather the near complete lack of it

How many people really care about the wider picture?

Joe Telfer said...

Good to see our neighbours across the bay in Cromarty taking a stand. The advent of the internet and explosion in knowledge of the natural world, gives all of us the ability to see what is happening to our world. The planet is precious and the only one we have, protection of the environment must be moved up the agenda to it's rightful place. I hope our councils on this side of the Firth make their objections known as well.

Graisg said...

River and West/Suburban CCs have indicated they will make submissions before the deadline of 8th February Joe. This observer is trying to ascertain if Highland Council have made any submission or intend to do so.

Joe Telfer said...

Thanks for that Graisg, hope a concerted effort by all will kill off the idea and keep the firth as pristine as possible.