Beach-goers who discover palm oil on South Ayrshire’s shores are being urged to report their discovery to the coastguard.

It comes after Siobhian Brown MSP heard the story of Bee the dog, who became unwell after eating palm oil on Prestwick beach, reported by the Advertiser in November.

Ms Brown wrote to Scotland’s environment minister, the International Maritime Organisation and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) demanding swift action and answers.

In response to Mrs Brown’s letter, Mairi McAllan, Scotland’s minister for environment, biodiversity and land reform, said: “I am concerned to read that the public have found large amounts of palm oil on South Ayrshire’s shoreline, as this substance can be harmful to pets as well as wild animals. “In UK waters, regulations covering the carriage of chemicals by ships are enforced by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

“If your constituents do find any kind of mineral or vegetable oil pollution, I would ask them to please report it as soon as possible to their nearest marine office.”

Commenting, Mrs Brown said: “I am grateful to the minister for looking into this important issue and she has asked me to encourage everyone to report instances of palm oil on our beaches immediately.

“It is through this monitoring that we will get to understand the scale of the problem.

“I know how much damage palm oil can cause to pets and wildlife and I want to shine a light on this and open discussions to have the regulations changed.

“As a dog owner myself I am deeply concerned by this and I would ask everyone to be vigilant and to know what they are looking for.

“I am passionate about keeping our beaches and the water surrounding them clean and safe, but whilst we are playing our part in doing this on land, those using the sea have a corporate responsibility too.

“I believe there should be tougher penalties for ships dumping large amounts of palm oil.”

Ayrshire’s nearest MCA marine office is located in Paisley and can be contacted on 020 381 72011 or by emailing

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