Oil Leak 75 A letter to Black Isle Councillors

Today – a letter sent to all Black Isle Councillors from a well respected Black Isle resident – he describes the entrance to the Cromarty Firth as an “open air laboratory” and he’s absolutely correct – where else can you study a population of bottlenose dolphins like this? Here’s the letter – Cllr Fraser has answered already, we’ll keep you appraised if he get anything else back:


Dear David Alston, Jennifer Barclay, Craig Fraser and Isobel McCallum

Dear Black Isle Councillors

I have taken a lead with the Black Isle Tourism Team to publicise the natural environment of the Black Isle as one strand to encourage visitors to spend longer here.  All this to supplement the best known reason for eco-tourism on the Black Isle, watching of the bottle-nose dolphins.


On one visit to the South Sutor I spent a half hour with an American Professor, attached to the University of Aberdeen, who between her detailed scanning of the entrance to the Cromarty Firth between the Sutors explained how important this stretch of sea was as a nursery of the bottle-nose dolphin population.  It was quite the best place in the world to study the interaction between mammal parents and their offspring.  Sitting perched on South Sutor with a birds-eye view for her tracking devices made me realise how good her choice of fieldwork location was.


This Open Air laboratory is at a real risk of being destroyed even if the proposed Ship to Ship transfers can proceed safely.  The low acoustic background in the Firth will not survive the vibrations of ships at anchor involved in pumping oil day and night.


May I ask you, as my Black Isle Councillors, to take note of the economic benefit that the status quo brings, and be reminded that the ultimate economic benefit of ship to ship oil transfers is to be found in Russia, not in Scotland, as this enables Russian oil to be more cost-effectively delivered in deeper draft tankers that cannot access Russian ports.


Please keep the local Black Isle economy to the fore, if through the Highland Council, you are able to play a decisive role in influencing the outcome of the new application to the Maritime and Coastal Agency.


Yours sincerely

Julian Paren

Facebook Page:  Black Isle Nature