As the twentieth anniversary is reached of the MV Braer tanker running aground off Shetland resulting in a spillage of 85,000 tons of oil, the Scottish Environment Secretary says we must remain vigilant.
Richard Lochhead said:
"Twenty years ago Braer was a wake up that everything was not right when it came to safeguarding our waters. It is vital that the UK Government never allows complacency to creep in due to the passage of time, because even today oil leaks are still happening. Thankfully the Shetland environment has recovered and such major incidents are very rare.
“Safety – both for the marine environment and those who work offshore – must be a priority. Over the past two decades there have been significant improvements in the safety of the oil and gas industry. The highest standards must be maintained and that’s why Marine Scotland works closely with other agencies and partners to ensure marine protection remains paramount.
"A major concern to the Scottish Government has been the reduction in emergency tug cover by the UK Government and the cuts to Scotland’s coastguards. While I welcomed the UK Government’s u-turn on Emergency Towing Vehicles last year, the botched handling of this important issue still leaves our waters under-protected.
“As we mark the 20th anniversary of the Braer disaster we must continue to learn lessons and ensure that our precious marine environment, and those using it, are properly protected."
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