February 2016 eNews Bulletin

The Moray Firth Partnership brings together people, knowledge and resources to make the most of our coast and seas, now and for future generations. We provide a neutral forum and encourage networking and integration to bring diverse interests together and help them develop joint actions.

The Moray Firth Partnership Manager - Re-recruitment

Due to a change of personal circumstances, Deborah Benham is unfortunately no longer able take on the role of MFP manager. The post is therefore being re-advertised and full application details can be found at SNH Jobs.

"Do you have the ambition and drive to take on an exciting and challenging management and communication role that helps to make the most of our coast and seas? We welcome applications from confident individuals with good communication and management skills, who can demonstrate a proactive and positive attitude and the ability to think strategically, who can respond positively to direction whilst working autonomously and who are keen to develop a longer-term marine and coastal management role...." Read the full job advert here.

Anyone interested in the post can call Kathryn Logan for more information on 01463 725028 or send her an email.  To apply, please go to SNH Jobs. Closing date for applications is 22nd February 2016 and the interview date is 4th March 2016.

Please do pass this on to anyone you think may be interested or circulate through your networks as appropriate.

New Opportunity - Regional Inshore Fisheries Group Chairs

Following a review of the current Inshore Fisheries Groups (IFG), the four mainland groups have now been merged to form two larger regional IFGs – one covering the whole east coast, Moray Firth and North Coast to Cape Wrath, and the other covering the whole West Coast. Applications are now being invited for the appointment of Chairs for the new West Coast Regional IFG and North & East Coast Regional IFG. Full information on these appointments and details on how to make an application can be found on the Marine Scotland website.  The closing date for applications is Monday 29 February 2016.

Ship to Ship Oil Transfer - Port of Cromarty Firth Licence Application - Extension of Deadline for Responses to 8th February

The Port of Cromarty Firth has applied for consent to create five new locations for Ship to Ship Oil transfers at the entrance to the Cromarty Firth, within the MF SAC area. Full details and copies of the relevant reports and appendices are on their website and can be viewed at the Port Office. The deadline for making representations about this application has been extended to 8th February 2016. These can be sent by email or post:

By email to all the following three addressees:  (Emma Langley, Intertek),  (Stan Woznicki, Maritime and Coastguard Agency) and  (Torquil Macleod, Port of Cromarty Firth). It is essential that these email addresses are used for any representations sent by email.  Or in writing to Emma Langley, Intertek, Exchange House, 33 Station Road, Liphook, Hampshire, GU30 7DW and Stan Woznicki, Head of Counter Pollution and Salvage, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Spring Place, 105 Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1EG.

New Coastal and Maritime Studies Course at UHI Centre for History from 2017

The Centre for History of the University of the Highlands and Islands has recently been validated to launch a distance-learning, interdisciplinary, MLitt Coastal and Maritime Societies and Cultures. This masters-level, taught postgraduate course is the first of its kind. Launching in 2017, it will be available from anywhere on earth! The course has a strong arts and humanities focus, relying on a tri-partite, collaborative structure in which the university's Archaeology Institute and Centre for Nordic Studies participate equally. Students will take two modules from each of History, Archaeology and Nordic Studies, and then complete a dissertation in one of those three areas. Please contact by email for further information or go to their website.

Winter Flooding at the Coast

Have you been affected by winter flooding? Which Moray Firth coastal areas have been worst affected? What good news stories are there re improvements following installation of new flood defences? Please share your story or pictures for inclusion in a regional round-up in a forthcoming issue of the MFP newsletter.

Funding News

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

The EMFF scheme opened to applications on Monday 18 January 2016. Support will be available through the programme to deliver on sustainable economic growth in the sea fisheries and aquaculture sectors, and supports communities to deliver economic benefits during the transition phase of the Common Fisheries Policy reform programme. Potential applicants should register on the e-system in the first instance.  If you have any difficulties please contact the EMFF grant team. Closing dates for application rounds will be published on the Marine Scotland website (a date for the first round of assessments has yet to be set.)

Paths for All - Community Paths Fund 2016

Community Paths Fund will reopen in April 2016. Constituted groups, Community Councils, Development Trusts, community woodlands and health walking projects working in Scotland can apply for this funding. For more info go to the Paths For All website or contact John Duffy on 01259 230 151.

Brough Bay Association received £1,400 from the 2015 Community Paths Fund to create better access to the shore. Volunteers constructed a harbour path with steps and seating over the summer of 2015 that was officially opened 5th December. Read more on the Association blog.

Brough Bay Association Footpath Opening

Image Source: Brough Bay Blog  Photo Credit: Keith Parkes

Diary Dates

Please email us to include your activity in our online events diary.  Here is a small selection of some of the upcoming events:-

Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Ltd (BOWL) Public Consultation Event

Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Ltd (BOWL) will be holding a public consultation event to engage with the local community and other interested stakeholders on plans for the proposed Operations and Maintenance (O+M) facility at Wick Harbour.  the event takes place on Wednesday 16th March, drop in anytime between 3pm and 7pm, Mackays Hotel, Wick.

BOWL announced in July 2014 that Wick Harbour had been chosen as the preferred location for the offshore wind farm’s O+M base. Since then they have been working with Wick Harbour Authority, investigating plans for the proposed building, the related marine infrastructure and developing preliminary designs.

The event will provide an opportunity to view the proposed activity at the harbour; ask any questions of the project team and provide comment on the plans. Proposed activity consists of widening the Telford Jetty (located between the Inner and Outer Harbour), construction of floating pontoon mooring facilities adjacent to the Telford Jetty, removal of dis-used slipway structure within the Inner Harbour and relocation of Marina Visitor Berths.

The Beatrice project was consented by Marine Scotland in March 2014 and granted an Investment Contract by the UK government in May 2014. Subject to a positive final investment decision, manufacture and onshore construction activities are planned in 2016 with offshore construction planned for 2017. As well as generating up to 588MW of renewable electricity if constructed, the project is expected to bring a range of socio-economic benefits to both the Moray and Highland regions including job creation, skills training opportunities and opportunities for local businesses through SSE’s Open4Business initiative.

Any questions in advance of the event can be directed to Kirstanne Land on 0141 224 7569 or by email.  Further information can also be found on the Beatrice project website.

Strathpeffer Science Festival 2016 – Waterways and Seas, Saturday 19 March

This free festival is an annual event run as part of British Science Week, which aims to promote education and understanding of science in the wider community. This year’s event takes place on Saturday 19 March, 10 – 2 and the theme is based around exploring the science related to our rivers and oceans – looking at the different elements that make up the marine ecology, man’s ability to make use of resources and technology for exploration, transport, energy, marine life and conservation etc. There will be exhibitors providing information, activities, experiments and demonstrations in their specific fields in a relaxed and informal setting where the wider community can access a range of displays, video talks and hands-on activities. MFP will be providing the Moray Firth Under the Surface banners and other information for display. If you or your organisation are interested in taking part as an exhibitor or demonstrator please call or email Pam at the Strathpeffer Community Centre, tel 01997 421 989

Firths and Fjords, Dornoch, 31 March to 2 April

Firths and Fjords: a Coastal History Conference is a major international conference exploring the pasts of communities living near or along adjacent coastlines that will take place in Dornoch from 31 March to 2 April 2016. The conference programme, poster and booking form can be found here.  You can also follow the conference organisers on Facebook.  Places are limited and registration forms should be returned by 15 February 2016.

Highland Wildlife Fair, Inverness College Campus, Saturday 16 April

The Highland Environment Forum is holding a Wildlife Fair to raise awareness of Highland wildlife and local biodiversity projects, and to help local groups share information on practical projects and funding sources. The fair is for anyone with an interest in Highland wildlife, especially members of local groups undertaking or wishing to carry out biodiversity projects. The day will be informal with plenty of opportunities for people to focus on subjects that they are interested in. The Forum are looking for up to eight short (15 minutes maximum) presentations from across the Highlands on practical projects with a wildlife focus, these can range from a single species to a group of species. Also, there is space in the foyer for 40 stalls and poster presentations. The stalls will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis so please book early to avoid disappointment. Contact Caroline Vawdrey by to book your place or suggest a presentation or poster display.

The Moray Firth Partnership wishes to thank the many volunteers, and its key core sponsors and donors, who enable us to complete a wide range of work:-