Fourteen small fishing boats yesterday blockaded the entrance to Europe's biggest oil terminal, Sullom Voe in Shetland, in protest over compensation for a huge oil spill.
Shetland Islands Council, the harbour authority for the terminal, said it would commence civil and criminal court actions against the shellfish boats if they did not depart today and allow the free passage of supertankers. The boats' crews and skippers are angry about the ending of compensation payments 20 months ago by the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund.
Their livelihoods are still harmed by restrictions on catching shellfish in waters off western Shetland, due to oil pollution from the wreck of the tanker Braer four years ago. Sullom Voe played no part in that oil spill, when the tanker, sailing from Norway drifted on to cliffs and lost her cargo of crude. Nicholas Schoon