Seafood sector echoes concerns about oil tankers lingering close to shore

Major figures in the local seafood industry have written to the SIC with concerns about laden oil tankers anchoring off the coast.

The issue has been raised repeatedly by Noss Nature Reserve’s honorary warden Jonathan Wills, who has criticised the council’s lack of action on the subject.

Dr Wills has questioned why the Hovden Spirit has been allowed to anchor off the coast of Bressay for several weeks after leaving Sullom Voe oil terminal.

Figures from the Shetland Fishermen’s Association, Seafood Shetland and the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) have lent their backing to Dr Wills comments.

Seafood Shetland chief executive Ruth Henderson said it was “quite staggering” that the council had let the problem persist.

“To tolerate any laden tanker lying close to the shore (closer indeed than the Braer was before its wreck) over many weeks flies in the face of common sense and hard-earned lessons.

“The consequences of any accident would inevitably be catastrophic for the salmon and mussel producers and the inshore and offshore fisheries which we represent.”

Shetland Fishermen’s Association chief Simon Collins said everyone knew that accidents could happen.

“We have therefore asked that assertive action be taken immediately to protect local industry and Shetland’s marine environment,” he added.

SSPO chief executive Tavish Scott called for “decisive action” to be taken.

The issue will be discussed by councillors and officials at Wednesday’s harbour board meeting.


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