A port authority in Scotland has announced that it is to drop plans to pursue a licence to transfer oil between ships in the Moray Firth.
Invergordon’s Port of Cromarty Firth announced it’s decision regarding the controversial plan after campaign groups, including WDC raised the issue of potential harm to wildlife in the area.
Ship-to-ship transfers involve one cargo ship moving crude oil or other petroleum products to another vessel while they are moored alongside.
The transfers at sea avoid the need for berthing charges but also mean that oil spills are a risk to dolphins, porpoises, minke whales, seals, seabirds and many other marine species that use the area. The proposed location within the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation for bottlenose dolphins was something WDC fought to stop. Many people in the area were critical of the consultation process when the plans were first revealed in 2015, and WDC felt that the Cromarty Firth Port Authority’s assessment of environmental impacts of such a plan was inadequate and fell short of what is required under the EU Habitat Directive Regulations.
WDC provided campaigning support to well organised local community campaigns (Nairn Rising and Cromarty Rising) and we are delighted that oil transfers will not be allowed in the area.