PE01637: Ship-to-ship oil transfers and trust port accountability

Environment Energy

Petitioner: Greg Fullarton on behalf of Cromarty Rising


Date Lodged: 17 February 2017

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ensure that environmental legislation in Scotland is sufficient to prevent ship-to-ship transfers of crude oil in environmentally sensitive locations, such as the Inner Moray Firth, and to enhance the accountability of trust port boards to their stakeholders.


Petition History:


16 March 2017: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the UK Harbour Masters’ Association. Link to Official Report 16 March 2017

22 June 2017: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to the Official Report 22 June 2017

27 June 2019: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment. Link to Official Report of Meeting 27 June 2019 

5 December 2019: The Committee agreed to invite the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands to give oral evidence at a future meeting. Link to Official Report of Meeting 5 December 2019 

12 November 2020: The Committee agreed to consider the evidence heard alongside forthcoming written evidence from the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, and others with an interest in the petition, at a future meeting.  Link to Official Report of Meeting 12 November 2020

27 January 2021: Committee agreed to close the petition under Rule 15.7 of Standing Orders on the basis that the licencing of ship-to-ship transfers is reserved to the UK Government and the Committee does not have a remit to intervene in relation to the specific application in the Cromarty Forth; and evidence provided to the Committee notes a low number of complaints against trust ports in Scotland and open engagement and dialogue exists with stakeholder groups, including the nine communities that border the Cromarty Firth. The Committee also agreed to write to the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands. Link to Official Report of Meeting 27 January 2021

Written Submissions:

  • Do you believe that environmental legislation should prevent ship-to-ship oil transfers in environmentally sensitive locations?
  • Have you been involved in campaigning against a proposed transfer or seeking to hold a trust port board to account? What are your experiences of these things?
  • Do you agree that ship-to-ship oil transfers pose risks to wildlife and local economies?

This area is supposed to be a tourist area, that is what the Moray Council keep telling us and the Moray coastline is definitly going to be affected. So stop sending mixed messages.


12:29 on 17 Feb 2017

The risks surely outweigh any possible benefits to the local area and its outstanding beauty...

Joanna May

10:13 on 17 Feb 2017

With Nairn just 4.5 miles south of one of the proposed anchorages any oil spill could be catastrophic for Nairn's beaches and local economy - and for those east of us. This is a totally inappropriate location for crude oil ship to ship transfers.

John Dolan

19:23 on 16 Feb 2017

A full environmental impact assessment should be submitted to Marine Scotland, and open to public review and comment, prior to this type of proposal being given approval, as with other offshore developments.

Howard Davenport

16:44 on 16 Feb 2017

Hi again! I forgot to add that if the oil companies want to say accidents don't happen just ask the people who live and work along the Gulf of Mexico in the US about how they feel about little or no chance of an accident and oil spill!!!

Pam Hartje

7:06 on 16 Feb 2017

Haven't the oil companies screwed up our oceans and beaches enough?!?! Our world enough?!?! Don't they know that transferring oil from ship to ship is DANGEROUS?!?! They should be doing everything they can to insure that our oceans, beaches and lands are protected from the oil spills and leaks that always seems to happen no matter what they do. To me it seems it's a VERY BIG RISK to be transferring oil from ship to ship and should be STOPPED AT ALL COSTS!!!

Pam Hartje

6:57 on 16 Feb 2017

Coastlines all over the world need our protection! The good of the seas is essential for our survival.

Aurora A Mata

6:04 on 16 Feb 2017

I can't believe they are even contemplating this ridiculous idea. It's a disgrace

Mike Cruickshank

20:44 on 15 Feb 2017

Know and love Nairn, have (and do) visit regularly. Please do not let this happen. Thank you.

Sue-Ellen Welfonder

17:55 on 15 Feb 2017

We do not want this "facilty" or eyesore out in the Moray Firth to view from Nairn. Oil spillages like in Alaska and a killer for local tourism and our local economy. We need tourism in the area and this will ruin it - especially if there are oil spills and smells polluting our shores. No thank you!!

Marie (Mary) Cruickshank

17:53 on 15 Feb 2017

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