Thursday, January 26, 2017

S2S Oil transfers in Moray Firth - a chance for the Scottish Parliament to invite Port Authority in and question them?

"How can it be right that a body created by an act of parliament to manage a natural waterway, is above any democratic scrutiny? " 

David Ross's article in the Herald is worth a read for anyone who has been following the issue of Ship to Ship oil transfers proposed for the Moray Firth.


Too wee, too stupid said...

No matter that Scotland has some devolved powers we're still run by Westminster. Only one thing can change that but in 2014 it would appear the majority were too feart. We'll always be too feart for as long as the main stream media supports the union and pumps out lies whenever we hint at Scottish independence. Scotland needs it's own media, it's the only way we'll get real change and be in control of our lives and that includes S2S in the Morray firth

D.Ross said...

CFPA admit they only had 1 oil tanker last year & 3 in 2015 due to the respective (to Nigg) oil fields closing down. There is no demand for any tankers to be in Nigg, the oil companies use Scapa Flow & Sullom Voe as these are closer & better geared up.

However banning any CFPA proposal will not get rid of the oil tankers which have parked in the Moray Firth SAC for over the past decade. These park here because it is free, nothing else.

I think people need to look at the wider picture & ask more pertinent questions.

Salty said...


The CFPA had hoped to undercut Sullom Voe in terms of charges for STS transfer (see Cromarty Rising) thereby creating a demand

Ships anchor rather than park! The right to anchor forms part of the right to navigate a vessel on the seas and you cannot legally be charged, however I believe in some areas Crown Estates have tried to enforce payment. Once again this is a devolved matter

What 'wider picture' are you referring to, and what 'questions'?

D.Ross said...

@ Salty @ 5:31pm

I know ships anchor & not park, I was using a less technical term!

I also know that vessels have a right to anchor.....just that they are doing so slap bang in the middle of a designated SAC!!

Yes we have "put up with" them because of the Nigg oil terminal, just that it's original purpose has cessed & therefore for the first time since 1981 (ish) there is no need for oil tankers to be in the Cromarty & Inner Moray Firths.

I remember when there was hardly any tankers anchored in the Firth off Nairn beach, prior to 2003. Those two red tankers (Petronodic & Petroatlantic) ruin the view from the beach, create noise pollution which can be heard in the Fishertown etc. to the detriment to our tourist industry!

As they no have no real reason (other than saving mooring etc fees) to anchor here lets ban the lot of them from the SAC & reclaim the peace & quiet & the view!!

Salty said...


You're being a politician in behaviour, I ask again what 'wider picture' are you referring to, and what 'questions'?

For those not familiar with the technical abbreviation of SAC it means 'special area of conservation'. The reason the Moray firth has this status is purely down the population of bottle nose dolphins. I suspect that these creatures are probably more in danger from local shipping rather than the tankers, especially at the likes of Chanonary Point whereby the navigable channel is quite narrow

Personally I don't mind our two tankers, they're an easy way to judge which way the tide is flowing. Ships anchor, sorry park in many places all over the worlds seas and oceans, I don't see as to how they are effecting tourism - 'oh look, there's a tanker parked out there, I've never coming back here again'

Scotland has no powers to ban vessels (boats) parking at the moment, maybe you're looking forward to an independent Scotland and then the possibility of a tanker free vista?

D.Ross said...

@ Salty 6:50PM

You obviously either can't remember or were never on Nairn beach before the two tankers started anchoring off it in about 2003-2004.

Nice view, no noise, hang on wasn't our tourism numbers higher back then?

You might like the tankers I don't, I don't like the constant noise from them at night which in summertime with the windows open disturbs my sleep....& other people state the same disruption.

How about putting the welfare of the people first for once? Tourists come to the far north of Scotland to see nice "natural" view. Nairn Beach did have them, having a couple of large oil tankers anchored just off the beach does not help the "clean" image!

As for dolphins, I never mentioned them, but if you want to "hug a dolphin" then yes ban all heavy shipping from sailing from the Moray Firth into the Cromarty Firth as in doing so ALL vessels sail through the greatest density of dolphins! I know this as I have a copy of the research papers! This "ban" isn't going to happen as totally impractical!!

So just ban the tankers, no need for them now as I stated in my earlier posts.

As for being a "politician" & "maybe you're looking forward to an independent Scotland", this is laughable, as anyone who knows me will testify!

Anonymous said...

@ D Ross

Exactly how are you going to ban the tankers from parking?

Anonymous said...

@ D Ross

Great article in The Herald

D.Ross said...

to Anon @ 8:12pm

For starters get rid of the official designations which exist on the Marine charts. There are two places designated as anchorage points on the current charts No.BA0223. One marked "Nigg tankers" the other "Tankers" this is where the current "Petro" tankers anchor.

D.Ross said...

To Anon @8:26PM

Thanks, but I'm a different D.Ross, not the one who wrote the article in the Herald. There are quite a few D.Ross in Nairn let alone the Highlands, it being a common name here!

Anonymous said...

The issues surrounding the use of the Moray Firth by commercial shipping enterprises will not be resolved by Scotland choosing to be independent. In fact the Highlands would have to adjust to a central belt driven agenda where the need to maximise revenues trumps environmental considerations.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 11:17

Well currently we're ruled on this matter by a Westminster government that has little or no regard for any part of Scotland other than it's ability to pay taxes and provide whisky for export.

I know which scenario I'd prefer

D.Ross said...

To Anon @ 11:17AM

Please read various info (Cromarty Rising etc) on the powers that the Scottish bodies have re the Moray Firth & Marine Scotland.

YES the MCA in Southampton make the final say so, but on the guidance of the statutory bodies.

Just that some of the statutory bodies (Highland Council, Marine Scotland, etc) have been very quiet previously on the CFPA application when they should have been complaining/objecting vigorously!!

The Inner Moray Firth is an SAC, here is a link to the guidance for "powers"

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:09
Ah the reverse Barnet formula that exists only in the minds of my separatist friends.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:06 PM

Ah yes, and do I get a hint of the separatist Brexit formula that none of my friends support?

As has been said the MCA have the final say in this matter. The MCA are outwith Scotland

D.Ross said...

To Anon @ 6:32PM

The MCA make their decision based on guidance from the local statutory bodies, which are Scottish!

Please go read the various Cromarty Rising posts where they are openly attacking the lackluster objections over the past year from the various Scottish statutory bodies eg Marine Scotland, Highland Council etc.

In fact when the STS for the Firth of Forth were proposed the three local Scottish councils (East Lothian, Fife, & Edinburgh) objected so strongly to the MCA that the proposal was dropped quicker than a hot potato!

How do I know this? I have copies of their objections to the MCA!!

The Blooch said...

Speaking as an very recent incomer to Nairn and a person who has only just discovered this S2S business, I must say those tankers are a carbuncle on what would be a beautiful vista and this isn't even touching on the detriment to locals lives. Of significantly more importance is its inherent value or LACK OF to the local economy and the environment. Having spoken to some people, it seems that many are unaware of any petition or work against this, but many would be keen to sign or do something. I must do more research, but I am grateful for the fact that there are clearly people working on this. I am surprised that some seem to not care. But it as ever it is in the world.

NIMBY said...

@Jemmy Bloocher

The sea has been the life blood of Nairn for centuries, a 100 years ago the harbour and indeed the vista you speak of would have been full of boats of all shapes and sizes. Times have changed and we now have tankers at anchor in the firth.

I'm aware that everything is about money these days and no doubt there are those who believe that moored vessels should be paying some sort of fee to anchor? The boats in question have to stop somewhere when they're in between jobs, where would you have them go. There isn't enough capacity in the world's harbours to offer space for all out ships. Should we be building more at great expense and cost to someone else's vista?