Scottish Liberal Democrat and Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has this afternoon hosted the Stop Sea Blasts campaign in the Scottish Parliament. The campaign seeks to stop ‘high order’ detonations, necessary to clear unexploded ordnance (UXOs) from marine areas, including areas where offshore wind farms are to be developed.
Currently, offshore munitions are most commonly cleared via ‘high order’ detonation, a loud and disruptive explosion, scattering harmful toxins and impacting the auditory systems of marine mammals. An incident at the Kyle of Durness led to the deaths of 19 pilot whales in 2011.
Today was the first event that the Stop Sea Blasts campaign had held in the Scottish Parliament attracting a cross party group of support. Actor Joanna Lumley has supported the campaign for last few years. Earlier this week Wishart met with the Minister for Environment and Land Reform, Mairi McAllan MSP, to discuss the matter.
Ms Wishart said:
“‘High order’ detonations should no longer be used as they can lead to serious harm to marine mammals which are dependent on their auditory system for navigation, feeding and communication, while noise trauma can cause permanent hearing loss and lead to mass strandings.
“Stop Sea Blasts propose a different approach, low-order deflagration, whereby the unexploded ordnance is ‘burnt up’ from the inside and removed from the sea floor.
“Clearing unexploded ordnance, often from the Second World War, is a pressing issue as we increasingly build infrastructure at sea. We should be more respectful of the natural environment and it makes sense to use a method of removing UXOs that is less damaging.
“I am delighted to have hosted the Stop Sea Blasts campaign at Holyrood. It is important that decision makers are aware of the issues and I was pleased that a cross party group of representatives came along to the event today. I hope they will help the campaign in preventing harm to marine mammals.”
Notes to Editors
Stop Sea Blast Campaign website can be found at: https://www.stopseablasts.org/