The Cromarty Firth is one of the largest deepwater ports in Europe, making a substantial contribution to the economic and social development of the immediate area, and to the Highlands and Islands. It also offers significant potential for the continuing expansion of the area as the CFPA seeks new opportunities for import and export activities and the maintenance of oil-related servicing and engineering works which support so many jobs in and around the area.
The resources which make the Cromarty Firth so attractive as a port - sheltered deep water surrounded by rich flat lands - also create one of the most important environments in Europe for wildlife, protected by a range of conservation designations. In the shadow of oil rigs, Udale Bay is a key wintering ground for wildfowl. Between the Souters, off the Nigg fabrication yard, lies an important habitat for the Moray Firth dolphins, public interest in which stimulates valuable employment in tourism. At Alness Point, wading birds enhance the surroundings of one of the Highlands' most important new business parks for Inward Investment.
Rod Johnstone, Chief Executive of the CFPA, recognises that port activities are a potential source of impact on the unique environments of the Firth. "We employ a series of active management techniques to ensure that we do not put the environment at risk." said Mr Johnstone. "Membership of the Moray Firth Partnership is a key element of our overall management strategy providing us with the opportunity to work towards a common goal with all the other Authorities, groups and individuals with an interest in the Cromarty and Moray Firths. Partnerships of this kind have the potential to be 'a real force for good'".
Cromarty Firth Port Authority website