Highlands & Islands

Protestors oppose Cromarty Firth ship-to-ship oil transfers

Protestors on Nairn beach Image copyright Rowena Cameron
Image caption The protestors gathered on Nairn beach on Sunday

A protest against ship-to-ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth has taken place in Nairn.

Cromarty Firth Port Authority wants permission to transfer millions of tonnes of crude oil at sea.

Campaigners around the Moray Firth said the risk of an oil spill would be catastrophic to the marine environment.

But the port authority has insisted procedures are in place to prevent the accidental discharge of oil and said the risk of a spill was minimal.

The Moray Firth is home to bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises, minke whales and other marine and bird life.

Image caption The port authority said oil transfers at sea did not significantly increase the risk of a spillage

The port already has a licence to transfer oil between vessels tied to the quayside at the Nigg oil terminal.

However, the authority now wants a licence from the Westminster government to conduct ship-to-ship oil transfers further out in the Cromarty Firth.

The application has prompted objections from local people and politicians all around the Moray Firth.

The protesters gathered on Nairn beach from about 14:00 on Sunday to highlight the dangers to the marine environment and demonstrate the scale of opposition to the plans all around the firth.

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