Cromarty Rising found an amazing up-take of people to sign the letter below to Scotland’s First Minister at a the Black Isle Gathering this weekend. The Cromarty Firth Port Authority are a Scottish trust port under the Scottish Government control, ship-to-ship transfers are planned where bottlenose dolphins rear their young and the FM could decline to award a European Protected Species licence.
We would remind everyone that in February 2008 the Firth of Forth ship-to-ship license was finally prevented – and it was prevented here in Scotland – by the Scottish Government and a Scottish Trust port working together.
The Scottish Environment Secretary at the time said:
“This is the right decision for Scotland ……. I am grateful to Forth Ports for their constructive engagement with the Scottish Government and with the Scottish Parliament on this issue.”
149 people signed the letter to First Minister this weekend and most of those needed very little explanation. 4 people wanted to take the letter away to read and 5 (or so) walked past and indicated they were not interested. Of those who took the letter away to read, 3 came back a bit later with the letter signed.
We calculate that’s about a 97% uptake, which is absolutely amazing given the low publicity around the subject just now.
The 149 letters signed this weekend bring the total to 374, the letter reads as follows:
Ms. Nicola Sturgeon, MSP Date:
First Minister of Scotland
Dear Ms. Sturgeon
Proposed Ship to Ship Oil transfers in the Moray Firth SAC
As the Leader of our Government, it is your responsibility to ensure Scotland’s beautiful land and seascapes are protected for future generations. Marine and socio-economic reports prepared by your Departments, explicitly state that “ship to ship” transfers of crude oil will have serious detrimental effects on our onshore and marine environments.
Indeed you stated in the Scottish Parliament (12/1/17) –
“On the basis of the evidence so far the Scottish Government is unconvinced that ship-to-ship oil transfers can or should take place, without causing risk to the environment, particularly to bottlenose dolphins” ”
You also stated that –
“The Scottish Government hears the concerns of these communities and will do anything we can to make sure they are heard by the Marine Coastguard Agency, while campaigning for the issue to be devolved.”
You DO have the ability and the lawful mechanism to prevent such potentially devastating operations in our inshore waters by denying the issuance of a licence to disturb European Protected Species.
The nation requires action not administrative sleight of words, political rhetoric or point scoring. Your government is accountable for protecting the nation’s assets, including those managed by the Port of Cromarty Firth, a Trust Port under your control.
I respectfully demand that you prevent any further licence applications for “ship to ship” oil transfers in the Moray Firth.
Cromarty Rising is not aware of any responses having been received to date.
You can download your own copy of the letter for printing and posting here: