Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Cromarty Rising instructs legal advisor to commence a formal complaint to the European Commission about a breach of European law.

Cromarty Rising are again raising the subject of what they see as Scottish Government reluctance to get involved in the proposed Ship to Ship oil transfers. In a press release they state:

"Cromarty Rising, a Highland community group opposed to ship-to-ship transfers of crude oil inside the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation (SAC), has instructed its legal advisor to commence a formal complaint to the European Commission about a breach of European law. Cromarty Rising has written to Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, on a number of occasions since April 2017. 

Despite promises to respond, key questions remain unanswered. Namely why the Scottish Government refuses to mention its responsibility for European Protected Species licensing. Cromarty Rising wants to know: Who is protecting the protected species? The Scottish Government remains silent on the subject." 

A new application for ship to ship oil transfers is anticipated from the Cromarty Firth Port Authority in 2018. The statement goes on to say:

“This is an absurd situation. The protection of protected species is falling between Government agencies. Here we are two years down the line with no answers and nobody taking responsibility. The primary objective of European and UK Habitats Regulations is to protect identified species and the habitats which support them, importantly offering protection to the species in rearing their young. It is a criminal offence to cause harm. We are looking to the European Commission to call upon the Scottish Government to accept its responsibilities and be accountable for the protection of European Protected Species in this situation.

Ship-to-ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth are highly contested. More than 103,000 people have signed a 38 Degrees Scotland petition against the CFPA proposal. Every major wildlife NGO in Scotland has objected. 27 local community councils object or have expressed concern. 

Last week Cromarty Rising and Nairnshire Rising, together with Marine Connection of Cawdor, held discussions with representatives from the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland which has already issued a statement expressing concern."

Anti S2S campaigners demonstrating on Nairn East Beach this time last year
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