Monday, 19 May 2008

Gibson calls for help to mark Marine Heritage Day

Photo: Rob Gibson MSP and Dr Eileen Macleod, Policy advisor to Alyn Smith MEP, at Avoch Harbour

News release
Immediate release


Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands has called on the Scottish Government to help mark European Maritime Heritage Day (which takes place on 20th of May).

Mr Gibson has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament which has drawn cross party support for an annual celebration of maritime heritage and marine-related issues which have played such a huge part in Scotland's story.

He said, "Scotland was settled after the ice age by settlers arriving in flimsy craft over the seas. The Celts in the curaghs and the Vikings in their sleek longships continued the admixture of our mongrel nation. Mediaeval traders across the North Sea and later round the world placed our ships and sailors on the map. Also our brave fishermen, merchant sailors and navy personnel and lifeboat crews sustained our nation in peace and war."

"I am proposing that serious plans are laid to mark this European Maritime Heritage Day annually. In particular the Year of Homecoming 2009 is a prime time to welcome from abroad all those who want to celebrate Scotland's new vibrancy. Record numbers of yachts are sailing across the North Sea and last year the Moray Firth Flotilla was a cracking success to celebrate sail through the years."

"Also, it reminds Government that our jetties, piers and harbours are a huge asset and deserve to be brought into a fit state for increased use in the 21st century. We also note the threats of massive increases in oil prices for fishing boats and ferries, cargo ships and liners. We in Scotland have a huge modern maritime heritage of the Scottish oil industry. Scots do not deserve the highest pump prices in a land that will produce a surplus to our needs for decades to come."

"I am delighted the Rural Minister is in Brussels to mark European Maritime Heritage Day. Here at home, communities along our coasts should be part of this annual celebration."


Note: Copy of Rob's motion

S3M-01657 Rob Gibson (Highlands and Islands) (Scottish National Party): European Maritime Day — That the Parliament welcomes the introduction of an annual European Maritime Day to be instituted on 20 May 2008 to celebrate Europe’s maritime heritage and marine-related issues; further recognises the vital role that the marine environment plays in the past, present and future of Scotland, and calls on the Scottish Government to help mark the day with events to highlight its importance.

Supported by: Michael Matheson, Jamie Hepburn, Sarah Boyack, Joe FitzPatrick, Bob Doris, Stuart McMillan, Helen Eadie, Christina McKelvie, Kenneth Gibson, Patrick Harvie, Dr Alasdair Allan, Shirley-Anne Somerville, Tavish Scott, Bill Kidd, Keith Brown, Gil Paterson, Brian Adam, Elaine Smith, Roseanna Cunningham, Robin Harper, Bashir Ahmad, Dr Bill Wilson, Andrew Welsh, Dave Thompson
Lodged on Thursday, March 27, 2008; Current

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