30 June 04
GIBSON CALLS FOR MARINE MINISTER
SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands Rob Gibson has
given his support to a call from Green MSP Robin Harper to have a
dedicated minister for the marine environment.
Mr Harper's motion comes on the
anniversary of the sinking of the MV Jambo off the coast of Ullapool it
deplores the lack of protection offered to the Scottish coast line as a
Mr Gibson saidÖ..
sinking of the Jambo last year had an adverse effect on the
marine environment in and around the Minch, this should have been a wake
up call for the Executive to put some real and concrete measures in the
place to protect our seas and those creatures that inhabit it. However
their response has been negligible."
"It is worrying to think that all the recommendations in the Donaldson
report have not been implemented even eleven years after
the Braer disaster in Shetland, the only way that the
marine environment will afforded better protection is if the Executive
starts to look seriously at the issue and begins to address it, a minister
with responsibilities for the marine environment would be a start"
He also spoke about the dangers that
existed in 1999 when the
Chemical Tanker Multitank - Ascania caught fire off the Pentland Coast
as to why a minister is needed...."A March 1999 accident in these stormy,
narrow seas with a chemical carry ship show how congestion could lead to
ecological disaster. The well trained crew and emergency services dealt
with the crisis but not before an exclusion zone of five kilometres was
set up around the anchored burning ship full of vinyl acetate and 600
local residents were evacuated. This is why we need proper protection and
a minister to implement them."
Robin Haper's motion.
S2M-01554 Robin Harper (Lothians) (Green): That the Parliament
notes the first year anniversary of the sinking of the MV Jambo in the
Minch; regrets the failure to protect one of Scotlandís most important and
fragile marine areas and regards the overall protection of Scotland's
coasts as inadequate; calls on the Scottish Executive to introduce further
measures to ensure the conservation and protection of Scotlandís marine
environment and to ensure that all the recommendations of the Donaldson
report which followed the Braer disaster are fully implemented, and calls
on the Scottish Executive to give further consideration to the appointment
of a dedicated minister for the marine environment to deliver coherent
government action on the seas.