Date lodged: 11 January 2017
To ask the Scottish Government whether a harbour authority can consent to a programme of ship-to-ship oil transfers without amending its by-laws to take account of such transfer operations.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 24 January 2017
The licensing of port authorities for the purposes of ship to ship transfers is a matter for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport. Once a licence is issued by the MCA, it would be for individual port authorities to ensure that such activity was not inconsistent with its byelaws before any such activity commences.
On the basis of the current information, the Scottish Government is unconvinced that ship-to-ship oil transfers can, or should, take place at anchor in the Cromarty Firth without unacceptable risk to the marine environment. The Scottish Government expects to be fully consulted by the MCA on any revised application put forward by the Port of the Cromarty Firth.