Finnie welcomes petitions committee keeping eye on oil transfers

THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT public petitions committee are to keep a petition calling for an end of ship-to-ship oil transfers on the Moray Firth open.

With the current position being that the Cromarty Firth Port Authority do not have an active submission on the issue, having been ordered to withdraw it earlier this year, it does remain likely – as indicated by the Port Authority themselves – that a renewed bid will be launched.

Regional Green MSP John Finnie has welcomed the committee decision. Mr Finnie has been campaigning for an end to the plans – and consequently spoke in favour of the petition at a committee meeting, calling for greater clarity around responsibilities relating to the transfers.

Commenting after the committee yesterday, Mr Finnie said: “I am pleased that the Public Petitions Committee decided to further investigate this matter.

“There is clearly much confusion over the process for ship to ship oil applications and I am hopeful that further scrutiny will provide much needed clarity.

“The Scottish Government have adopted a ‘nothing to do with us’ approach to this issue yet there are clear roles for SEPA, SNH and Marine Scotland – all Scottish Government agencies – to play in the process.

“There also remains concerns that a response prepared by Marine Scotland was stymied by Ministers. This is deeply concerning and requires further scrutiny.”