Local Marine Species
These species can be found in the waters around the isle of Arran.
Cod can grow up to two meters and live up to 25 years. Cod caught in the UK are on average size around 41 cm (Cefas). The minimum landing size in the UK is 35 cm, targeted fishing for cod in the Firth of Clyde is prohibited due to low numbers.
Semibalanus balanoides one of the most common species on our shores. Barnacles are incredibly important creatures from an ecological perspective and are one of the true stalwarts of the coastal zone.
The basking shark is the second biggest fish on the planet and the largest in UK waters. Its massive open jaw, spanning over 3ft wide, filters 2,000 litres of water per hour and sifts out zooplankton and small fish from coastal seas.
Branched Antenna Hydroid
Hydroids are a colony of small predators related to jellyfish. They are filter suspension feeders and look like plants.
The rainbow effect that is seen during the day travelling up and down the side of a comb jelly in a kaleidoscope of colour makes them look like miniature space ships.
Common Squid eggs
Perhaps more often seen on the dinner plate than in the sea, squid are actually a common visitor to UK shores where they come to breed in the summer. Nonetheless, Egg cases belonging to the common squid made for a surprising find by researchers from the University of York after analysing thousands of photos of the seafloor here in Lamlash Bay.
This photo of a Connemara Clingfish was taken within the proposed MPA by local photographer and diver Angus Robson. As far as we know it is the first time the fish has been recorded in the Firth of Clyde.
The curled octopus is found all along the British and Irish coasts and ranges from Norway, south to the Mediteranean. It is very illusive spending most of the day hiding between rocks and in crevices it curls up its tentacles when at rest.
Devonshire Cup Coral
The Devonshire Cup Coral is a lot wider spread than first believed. It has 80 beautiful translucent tentacles spread out in three layers of circles. The tentacles end in a white or brown knob.
A surprisingly exotic animal that frequents the shores of the British coast (except for the south east coast of England). The feather star is classified as an Echinoderm, sharing traits with animals such as starfish, sea urchins and even sea cucumbers!
One of the most striking and important qualities of the flame shell is that it can build habitat. The bright orange tentacles are spectacular, but it is the byssus threads hidden beneath it which make this creature so special.
Gravel Sea Cucumber
The gravel sea cucumber which is found in coarse gravel or mearl. It can grow to about 20 cm long and lives in the substratum with only its tentacles visible when extended. It can quickly pull them in if threatened.
Killer Whale – Orcinus orca
The killer whale, orca or blackfish, as it is variously known, is social, intelligent, powerful and an cunning predator. These whales are more closely related to dolphins than other whales with their closest relative being the Snubfin dolphin. Growing up to 9.8m long and 10 tonnes these massive mammals are powerful swimmers and can be seen leaping from the water. Much like their dolphin cousins the Orcas are a highly social and vocal species travelling in groups of 2 - 50.
King Scallop- Pecten Maximus
King Scallops are one of the most iconic and well known bivalve species found in Scottish waters. Scallops have huge commercial worth and are the second most valuable shellfish species landed in Scotland. In 2013, 12,448 tonnes of scallops were landed with a value of £23.3 million.
Long spined sea scorpion fish
These fish get their name due to the spines and spikes which they use as a defense against predators. Many varieties of sea scorpions are venomous, luckily the two species in the UK are non poisionous though they can still cause an injury to the unwary!
Monkey Puzzle Bryozoan
During this summer's MPA baseline dive survey's Howard Wood, Clare Youdale and Gus Robson discovered a rare marine organism believed to be a Monkey Puzzle Bryozoan. It was growing to a larger than normal size and in relative abundance within the MPA. This species is not a listed Marine Priority Feature but COAST and the Marine Scientific community would like it to receive full protection within the MPA.
Dublin Bay Prawn, Langoustine and scampi (it is amazing how few people actually know what scampi is!), Nephrops Norvegicus is a mud-dwelling crustacean. The largest Nephrops fishery is the Fladen Ground in the North Sea, a huge sandy bank.
Known in Scotland as 'spoots' for the spouts of water they eject while burrowing into the sand, this mollusc is easily recognisable by its open razor shape. An edible saltwater clam, this remarkable little creature has a life span in excess of 10 years and in some cases up to around 20 years. The razor shell burrows down into the sand and is rarely seen alive, only positioning an exit siphon above the surface to feed by extracting particles of organic matter from the water.
Stalked Jellyfish Depastrum cyathiforme
Arran's Stalked jellyfish. Where better to look for Depastrum cyathiforme than on the Isle of Arran where it was first recorded in the UK in 1846, it was described then as being abundant. It has not been recorded since 1951.
Please help to look for, photograph and report any possible sightings to COAST.
Zostera Marina - Sea grass
Seagrasses can store up to twice as much carbon per square kilometre as a land-based forest. By trapping sediments, seagrass meadows are now increasingly recognised as natural hotspots for carbon sequestration.