MORAY COUNCILLORS HAVE been criticised by an MSP for failing to respond to concerns over plans to conduct ship-to-ship oil transfers on the Moray Firth.
John Finnie MSP has also highlighted the “deafening silence” from Moray’s parliamentary representatives over an issue that has attracted thousands of signatures to a petition and sparked an action group being formed in Cromarty.
Fears have been expressed that the plans by the Cromarty Firth Port Authority (CFPA) have the potential to spell environmental disaster for the entire Moray Firth – now Councillors and civic leaders have joined forces in a bid to halt the application for a licence to extend ship-to-ship transfers in the Moray Firth.
Mr Finnie said: “Whilst it is fantastic to have the support of several Highland councillors, and indeed Councillor Sean Morton of Moray Council, I am disappointed not to have heard back from the vast majority of Moray’s Councillors on this critical issue.
“There is a great deal of local concern surrounding the transfers, particularly given the number of technical risks that the CFPA have opted not to include in their application. The number of potential disasters is extensive – heightened emissions from the large tankers, the risk of collision between ships, the impact of such a plan on tourism and the local economy; the list goes on.
“The deafening silence from Moray’s parliamentary representatives is disappointing.
“On Wednesday evening a public meeting hosted by Cromarty and District Community Council unanimously opposed the CFPAs plan, so it is concerning that Holyrood’s elected representatives have chosen not to represent those concerns.
“This campaign is a great community effort, and it really is heartening to see how much support there is across the world for our iconic marine and wildlife.
“It is so important that we put the precious marine environment of the Moray Firth before private profit and I would ask all those who agree to vocalise your opposition to these dangerous plans, by signing the petition before the consultation closes on the 8th of February.”
Mr Finnie’s petition can be found at http://bit.ly/SaveOurDolphins