N E W S F E E D S >>>

Caithness News Bulletins June 2004

June 2004 Index May 2004 Index

Caithness.org News Index

Front Page Archives

       

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 whole.

Mr Gibson saidÖ..
"The 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."

He continued
"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.