John has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling on the Ministry of Defence to show greater respect for the marine wildlife in the vicinity of the Cape Wrath bombing range.
The motion highlights reports that investigators from the Scottish Agricultural College have concluded that the July 2011 whale stranding at Kyle of Durness was caused by Naval detonations of unexploded devices. This included detonations after an alarm was raised that the pod of pilot whales was in dangerously low water.
Commenting on the issue John said:
“I am very concerned that the MoD would continue to detonate devices in the area after they were warned about marine wildlife being in potential danger. Such reckless action appears to have caused the pod of pilot whales to stand themselves and, despite the best efforts of a great deal of people, dying.
I have written to the Secretary of State for Defence asking for assurances that such a tragedy will not be allowed to happen again.”
Motion S4M-05027- Naval Explosions Responsible for Whale Stranding
That the Parliament notes the conclusions of an inquiry carried out by experts from the Scottish Agricultural College and mentioned in a draft report by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs into Scotland’s biggest whale stranding yet; understands that, in July 2011, the detonation of unexploded bombs in the sea off the Ministry Of Defence’s (MoD) Cape Wrath bombing range in the days prior to the stranding is blamed for the death of 25 long-finned pilot whales; is also concerned that divers detonated a device after the alarm had been raised that the animals were in dangerously shallow water, and calls on the MoD to show more respect for the wildlife of the area.