Finnie hands in petition against ship-to-ship oil transfers

John Finnie MSP has today (8th February) submitted a more than 3000 signatures strong petition (figure includes signatures to online petition and paper copies) and formal objection calling upon the Maritime Coastguard Agency to refuse the oil transfer licence made by Cromarty Firth Port Authority (CFPA).

This follows weeks of campaigning by Mr Finnie and the coastal communities to block risky ship to ship transfers of oil across the Moray Firth on the basis that they are ‘unsafe and unnecessary’. 

Mr Finnie said:

“The idea of transferring oil across the Moray Firth – a spectacular marine area of international significance – is outrageous. I’m not in the least bit surprised at the strength of feeling across the world against this proposal, and I urge the Maritime and Coastguard Agency take note of the significant public opposition when making a decision.

“I am encouraged by the way in which the immediately affected community have mobilised against CFPA’s proposal and I am proud to have campaigned with them on such a critical issue. In particular I would like to note the actions of Cromarty and District Community Council who have exerted a great deal of time and energy in thoroughly opposing these plans.

“The sheer number of mistakes and omissions throughout CFPA’s application is remarkable and I am astonished and dismayed that in spite of these slip ups, the SNP Government is in support of these risky plans.

“Within the application there is no thought given to what might happen if ships were to collide, the impact of ballast water and the oil spill modelling goes no-where near the worst case scenario. It doesn’t even mention whether these plans are to be instead of or in addition to existing oil transfers in the area. How could the MCA make a competent assessment of this application when they only have half the detail?

“This application is now in the hands of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and I hope they make the right decision. There is far too much at stake for us to simply sit back, cross our fingers and hope for the best.”