Highland MSP praises Cromarty community’s resilience after port authority ditches ship to ship plans

The constituency MSP for the Black Isle has praised the resilience of the Cromarty community after years of campaigning resulted in a neighbouring port authority abandoning plans for at-sea ship to ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth.

Despite being a coastal village with a population of just 700, well over 100,000 people signed an online petition organised by the Cromarty Rising campaigners concerned about the environmental risks if an oil spill were to occur. The Cromarty and Moray Firths are home to bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises, mink whales as well as other marine and bird life.

Kate Forbes MSP, who last year joined protesters in dolphin costumes as they demonstrated outside of the Scottish Parliament about the issue, said that this victory demonstrated that “the most remote communities in Scotland have great weight”.

The Port of Cromarty Firth Authority revealed in its latest newsletter that “due to higher priority projects the Port will not be pursuing the re-submission of our ship to ship at anchor application”.

Kate Forbes MSP, whose Highland constituency includes Cromarty, said: “This news is of huge importance to my constituents, who campaigned long and hard against ship to ship oil transfers in the Cromarty Firth.

“They took their message to the Scottish Parliament, as well as the furthest corners of the globe with an online petition.

“Almost three years since it emerged that the Port of Cromarty Firth submitted an initial proposal, my constituents will be delighted that they do not intend to apply for a ship to ship license.

“The voices of some of the most remote communities in Scotland have great weight, and this is a victory for local residents who actively resisted any risks to our marine wildlife, local economy or international reputation.”

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