Yesterday we asked Dave Stewart if he would like to share any thoughts he might have on the proposed ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth. Dave sent us a reply earlier this afternoon.
Thank you for your message on Twitter re ship to ship oil transfers. (I’m replying also on behalf of my colleague Rhoda Grant)
I realise the issue is one that is rightly is exercising a lot of debate as highlighted by the big turn-out in Nairn recently.
Rhoda and I are listening to both side of the argument and debate and looking in more depth into this whole issue.
However decisions relating to ship to ship transfers and oil transfer licences rest with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, who are a part of the UK Government.
Given the Scottish Government’s responsibility for environment protection in Scotland, the Scottish Government considers it necessary for Scottish Ministers to have a clearly defined role in the licensing process for any ship to ship transfers in waters adjacent to Scotland. Furthermore all enforcement and authorisation decisions made by the UK Government in relation to Scottish waters must be in accordance with the National Marine Plan.
Notwithstanding the above, we have to listen to the views of constituents on both sides of the argument and that is currently what we are doing.