Save The Highland Dolphins

Transfers of crude oil are proposed in the Inner Moray Firth – exactly the place where the only resident pod of bottlenose dolphins in Scotland lives and breeds!

By The Mirthquake Foundation

An environmental catastrophe in the making

The usual greed and utter contempt of men for the environment is about to be exposed yet again. In the magnificent Moray Firth in the north of Scotland, the antics of The Cromarty Firth Port Authority, it's CEO Bob Buskie and assorted cronies, need to be seen for what they are - the masterminds of an environmental catastrophe in the making. The Cromarty Firth Port Authority are reapplying for a licence for ship to ship crude oil transfers in the Moray Firth, not for the UK mind you, as if that was any good reason, but for smaller tankers from the Baltic to transfer oil into larger tankers for global distribution. Bob Buskie, whose demesne is on the north side of the Firth, has the arrogance to refuse to have consulted with the south side, the counties of Nairn and Moray, which would take the brunt of any spill on their pristine and ecologically unique beaches. [caption id="attachment_10594" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Bottlenose dolphins leaping clear of the water together in Moray Firth, Scotland. Photographer - Charlie Phillips[/caption]

Unique, irreplaceable and priceless dolphin pod under threat

The Moray Firth is home to the greatest number, and largest sized resident pod of Dolphins in the world. They have been a vital resource of scientific data for over 30 years. They are hugely loved in the area and give many people the magic experience of being close to them in respectful ways, in the hands of experienced local businesses whose existence depends on the Dolphins The Dolphins have been in the Moray Firth for as long as the Firth has been good to them, possibly for hundreds of thousands of years. The indigenous folk of the Firth, be they ancient or modern, have had a long and joyous interaction with these wonderful animals.

Many respected scientists are of the opinion cetaceans are fully sentient, conscious beings with family and social structures at least as complex as ours.

The evidence behind the scenes against this plan in immense, as are the alleged shenanigans of the protagonists, the supine and dismissive behaviour of the local MSP Fergus Ewing and the Scottish Government. KEY POINTS:

  • The Moray Firth is a designated Area of Conservation
  • It is home and migratory staging post for large numbers of birds
  • Many species of cetacean come to the Frith to feed, rest and shelter while on their peregrinations
  • There are plentiful colonies of seals
  • The local fishing industry is getting back into gear
  • The Moray/Nairn coast consists of 45 miles pristine sand beaches
  • This plan will allow near super-tanker size ships to moor in the middle of one of the finest landscapes in Britain
  • The value of tourism to the area is £275m p/a
  • Ballast water discharges will occur in the shallow, warm waters of the Moray Firth. Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) are a threat to the entire ecological system
  • The annual cost to the British economy from INNS is estimated at £1.7 billion (CABI Research, Defra sponsored)
  • The coasts of the Firth are full of SSSI’s and Designated Nature Reservations
  • Any spill will take 4-5 hours to reach the Moray/Nairn coast, it is impossible to protect the beaches in time
  • The beaches and foreshore on the south side are flat with a long tidal foreshore so the 'smear' effect will be all the more damaging
  • The oil spillage reaction plan is based on 1 tonne being spilled. it is pumped at a rate to 2 tonnes per second. This figure was reduced from 300,000 tonnes, for the purposes of this licence application. Bizarre
  • It is humanly impossible to shut off the system in under 30 seconds according to other sources involved in the safety measures of these operations
  • Any spill will be drawn into the unique Findhorn Bay within 12 hours
  • To repeat, Bob Buskie, CEO Cromarty Firth Ports Authority (CFPA) has refused to involve the Moray/Nairn stakeholders in any consultations
  • CFPA has received £4m from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). The guidelines for Port Authorities under European procurement rules and use of public money para. 1.1.4 states ‘Trust Ports operate in a commercial environment with no public funding’ The rules have been disregarded
  • Safe facilities for transfer are already in situ in the port of Cromarty and have been proven for over 30 years
  • The ships in the Firth will be subjected to high winds and a 3.5 meter tide while making the transfers

[caption id="attachment_10593" align="aligncenter" width="2400"] Oil tanker site spells danger for dolphins[/caption] THERE HAS BEEN PLENTY OF OPPOSITION

  • In excess of 100,000 have signed a petition. YOU CAN SIGN TOO!
  • Nicola Sturgeon has received over 500 personal letters.
  • When such a scheme was mooted for the Firth of Forth, the squeals of opposition form the area squashed the plan immediately.
  • "Let's send it north! There's nothing of any value above Perth!"
  • The paper trail in the public domain, clearly shows the Scottish Government and Mr. Ewing being, shall we say, economical with the truth. Bob Buskie and his cronies, it is estimated, should the allegations of foul play and a system of shelf companies (in excess of 8) be true, stand to make a pretty private penny riding on the back of a public trust.
  • Even the smallest spill will have a distinct detrimental effect. The fumes from the transfers alone will cause damage.

THE IDIOTIC CROMARTY PORT AUTHORITY MUST BE STOPPED IN THEIR TRACKS AND MR. BUSKIE REMOVED FROM HIS POST FOR ABUSING HIS POSITION OF TRUST [caption id="attachment_10595" align="aligncenter" width="4782"] Nairn Dolphin Protest[/caption]

Call to Action

His constituency office is: 112 Church Street, Inverness, Highland IV1 1EP Telephone: 01463 713004 His Scottish Parliament address is T3.25 The Scottish Parliament Edinburgh EH99 1SP THANK YOU! [caption id="attachment_10592" align="aligncenter" width="590"]Bottlenose dolphin photograph shows animal spitting out a water heart Bottlenose dolphin photograph shows animal spitting out a water heart[/caption]

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