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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 15:23 GMT
In quotes: Oil transfer decision reaction
Plans for ship-to-ship oil transfers in the Firth of Forth have been ruled out by the area's harbour authority.

Here is a selection of quotes from politicians, campaigners and those involved in the decision.

FIRST MINISTER ALEX SALMOND

I strongly welcome the fact that Forth Ports are not going ahead with the controversial ship-to-ship transfers in the estuary. Quite rightly now, Forth Ports have made a sensible and intelligent assessment and judgment as a company. That means we can now, with Forth Ports Authority, go ahead and look at economic developments that will be widely supported by the community and will be good for the estuary.

CHARLES HAMMOND, FORTH PORTS GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Given the uncertainty surrounding the scope of the proposed project, we have decided that this application is not in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.

LLOYD AUSTIN, RSPB SCOTLAND'S HEAD OF CONSERVATION POLICY

This is a good decision for wildlife, and for communities around the Forth. Common sense has finally prevailed in this case, and we look forward to examining Forth Ports' assessment in detail.

MSP ROBIN HARPER, GREEN PARTY CO-CONVENER

This is the best news possible for the environment in the Forth. The continued safety of one of Europe's principal areas of seabird conservation is now better assured.

TRICIA MARWICK, MSP FOR CENTRAL FIFE

I am delighted that Forth Ports have blinked on this issue in the face of unanimous opposition from the communities of Fife. Forth Ports claim that it was in the interests of their company and their shareholders not to proceed. I agree because had Forth Ports tried to proceed they would have found themselves embroiled in a long-running war.

DR DAN BARLOW, WWF SCOTLAND'S ACTING DIRECTOR

To safeguard our marine environment it is vital that the forthcoming Scottish Marine Bill puts the environment at the heart of this new legislation.

NANETTE MILNE MSP, TORY ENVIRONMENT SPOKESWOMAN

The proposal will only have brought between 12-24 jobs to the area and in light of the large amount of public objection, including the three local councils, we did not think that the ship-to-ship transfer permission should be given. With the Forth and its islands being home to internationally important numbers of breeding seabirds and wintering waterfowl, the risk of any oil spill is just not worth taking.

TONY MARTIN, FIFE COUNCIL ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

Our campaign against ship-to-ship oil transfers, which has had complete cross-party support over the last three years or so, has successfully achieved its desired outcome namely that ship-to-ship operations with no benefits whatsoever to Fife in terms of jobs or financial reward but with much increased risk will now not happen in the Firth of Forth.

MSP IAIN SMITH, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT NORTH EAST FIFE

The decision by Forth Ports Authority to ditch its proposals for ship-to-ship oil transfers is great news. The threat this proposal posed to the environment was huge and we must continue to call on the government for strict regulations on this practice so any future risk is removed.


SEE ALSO
Forth oil transfer plan ruled out
01 Feb 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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