Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands, John Finnie, will lead a debate on ship to ship oil transfers in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow.
Mr Finnie, who joined campaigners from the Cromarty Rising campaign group at the parliament’s Public Petitions Committee recently, has been campaigning against the proposals to allow ship to ship oil transfers to take place in the Moray Firth since last year.
A parliamentary motion (1) submitted by Finnie has received the necessary cross party support to allow it to proceed to the chamber for a member’s business debate.
Members of Cromarty Rising will be in attendance for the debate, which will take place at approximately 5.00pm.
Mr Finnie said:
“If ship to ship oil transfers are allowed to go ahead in the Moray Firth the consequences for marine life, including the iconic pod of bottlenose dolphins, could be catastrophic.
“The overwhelming majority of communities in the area, who would be in the front line of any oil spill, are opposed to ship to ship oil transfers, as are thousands across the country as the 103,425 signatures on Cromarty Rising’s petition demonstrates.
“The potential impact on the tourism sector, so important to the economy of the Highlands and Islands, cannot be overstated. I am therefore glad that my motion has achieved cross party support, and I look forward to leading a debate on ship to ship oil transfers.”
Moray Council candidate James MacKessack-Leitch, who is contesting the Heldon & Laich Ward for the Greens, added:
“It is quite clear that our local communities overwhelmingly oppose the plans for ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth, yet while Moray Greens have consistently spoken out against the proposals there continues to be a deafening silence on the issue from nearly everyone else. I would urge voters to consider who will actually stand up for them on important local issues when casting their votes on Thursday.”
(2)Debate will be live at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-39328313
Just had a look at the motion on the Scot. Gov. website & I note the following:-
"and further notes the view that any oil transfers that are considered necessary should continue to take place in the relative safety of the Cromarty Port."
So basically back to square one with the situation "as is",- i.e. we in Nairn will still have the sight & sound of waiting oil tankers anchored in the Moray Firth!
Also the worst case scenario of an oil tanker grounding on the rocks at the Souters & creating an oil spill on top of the greatest density of dolphins will still exist!!
That motion is useless & does not go as far is it could do & it's been submitted by the Scottish Green Party??
Due to the decommissioning of the Nigg oil pipeline, there is for the first time in 40yrs, NO requirement for oil tankers to be in the Moray Firth! So ban them all from this side of the Inner Moray Firth SAC boundary line if you want to really help the environment, dolphins, tourist industry, etc.!
Maybe we are back at 'square one' but that's many times better than square two
To Anon at 4:52PM,
You misunderstand:- we only had the oil tankers here because of the Beatrice Oil field pipeline which terminated at Nigg.
The Beatrice oil field & pipeline have been decommissioned, therefore NOW there is NO need for oil tankers to be in the Inner Moray Firth SAC.
Small tankers often navigate the firth up to Inverness, should these be banned?
The tankers that anchor off Nairn are almost always empty of oil, and reside here until they have a cargo to take from Shetland to a mainland Europe port
To Anon @ 8:33PM
Those tankers which go to Inverness go the fuel depo at the harbour so they are essential!
As for those existing oil tankers (PetroAtlantic & PetroNordic) in the Firth the only reason they anchor in our Firth is because it is Free as they are outside the CFPA boundary! As you say they are for the Foinaven field...so nothing to do with us or the Inner Moray Firth so they should be banned from here as they add nothing, but detract as I (as many others) can hear the engines running all night from them in summer, & it ruins the view from the beach also!
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