Falkirk MSP demands port entry for Greenpeace ship

MSP Angus MacDonald urged Forth Ports to let the Greepeace vessel dock in Grangemouth
MSP Angus MacDonald urged Forth Ports to let the Greepeace vessel dock in Grangemouth

The plight of “no room at the port” Greenpeace ship Esperanza has been highlighted by East Falkirk MSP Angus MacDonald.

Port authority Forth Ports reportedly informed the crew of the ship they could not dock in Leith port on Wednesday because it was already full to capacity. The Esperanza, the largest vessel in the Greenpeace fleet, is sailing to Scotland to lend its presence to a campaign to reduce plastic pollution in the sea.

A Greenpeace spokesman said: “We were planning on docking the Esperanza in Leith to host an event with MSPs, campaigners and scientists to highlight the impact which a bottle deposit return scheme in Scotland could have in reducing plastic pollution in our oceans.

“But we hit a bit of a bottle-neck with the Forth Ports authority.”

Responding to the situation, Mr MacDonald said: “Clearly this is not a situation we would want to see. Anyone who wants to add to the debate we are having in Scotland about keeping our environment clean should be able to contribute to it, without any obstacles in their path.

“This is a most important campaign, which has support across the wider political and public spectrum. Forth Ports should come to the conclusion that, if Leith is too busy or too full, there should be a space made available to the Esperanza in the Port of Grangemouth.

“It is important that the Esperanza is allowed to dock in Grangemouth in order for the launch of their campaign to go ahead without any delays.”

Forth Ports stated it had offered the Esperanza crew an alternative – Granton Harbour in Edinburgh – which they had now accepted.

A spokesperson from Forth Ports said: “Greenpeace has accepted an anchorage for the Esperanza in the River Forth which will enable them to have access to Granton Harbour. We look forward to welcoming them into the River Forth later this week.”