Moray Firth campaigners to attend Holyrood ship-to-ship debate

A HOLYROOD DEBATE today secured by regional MSP John Finnie will provide Moray Firth ship-to-ship oil transfer campaigners an opportunity to have their case heard.

Mr Finnie has been a strong supporter of the campaign to halt such transfers being planned by the Cromarty Firth Port Authority – a plan that it is claimed could prove catastrophic for marine life all along the Moray Firth.

Currently there is no submission being considered by the Authority, who first laid their plans in December 2015 before being requested by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to withdraw it at the end of last year.

However, the CFPA has said that they are drawing up plans for a renewed bid – while campaigners, who secured over 100,000 signatures on a petition against the plan, are urging them not to do so.

Mr Finnie requested today’s debate and received the required cross-party backing for it to take place today at around 5.30pm.

The MSP said: “If ship to ship oil transfers are allowed to go ahead in the Cromarty 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.”