Welcome to COAST
We are a community organisation working for the protection and restoration of the marine environment around Arran and the Clyde.
We aim to:
• improve the local marine environment for the benefit of everyone
• help sustain the livelihood of those dependent on fishing and tourism
• increase the popularity of the area as a diving site and tourist destination
• educate future generations on the need for marine conservation.
COAST is recognised worldwide as one the UK’s leading community marine conservation organisations. We were responsible for the establishment of Scotland’s first No Take Zone in Lamlash Bay.
We are now campaigning for effective management of the designated South Arran Marine Protected Area (MPA).
No salmon farm expansion in Arran's MPA - August 2017 Newsletter
Scotland’s inshore fisheries management not fit for purpose
The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) has withdrawn its application to expand the St Molios salmon fish farm in Lamlash Bay. This follows SEPA admitting to errors in their ecological appraisal which wrongly predicted the expansion would lead to a decrease instead of an increase of toxic Emamectin Benzoate going into the South Arran Marine Protected Area.
With escalating salmon exports - up 70% in the first half of 2017 - the SSC can afford to pay law firms like MacRoberts to manage the case, while the people of Arran have invested thousands of hours to get this SEPA-approved application "called in" by the government. Without the commitment of our community, this expansion would have gone ahead, risking our environment, well-being and livelihoods (salmon aquaculture in Scotland accounts for under 0.1% of employment).
But the story, unfortunately, does not end here.
Do our politicians care about coastal communities and healthy seas? - June 2017 Newsletter
Time to embrace sustainable alternatives
Little has been said during this election about one of the biggest issues facing coastal communities - the health of the marine environment. Ironically, only Donald Trump has succeeded in putting the environment in the headlines - but only by withdrawing from the Paris Accord on climate change! That is bad enough, but we now need to watch out for the UK Government using Brexit as an opportunity to retract from important EU marine legislation.
In Scotland, under devolved powers, there is an opportunity for political parties to make a strong economic and environmental case for two progressive marine management measures. We urge them now and in the future to support a new three mile limit on dredging and bottom trawling in favour of hand diving and creeling - this will be better for the environment, local communities and Scotland's coffers. Fish farms on the other hand need to use closed-containment systems. Scandinavia is leading the way on both issues. Inshore dredging is largely prohibited and Norway has just announced it will put a stop to open-cage farms. These measures can be implemented and would benefit us all.
Read the full newsletter here.