Seabed and fisheries' recovery depends on international cooperation
After carefully considering the issue, it is our opinion that a vote to leave would have a detrimental effect on marine management and the long-term health and productivity of the sea around Arran.
This is because the UK and Scotland would no longer be a party to, or be able to influence, the Habitats, Bathing, Water or Marine Framework Directives which underpin our own fresh water and marine legislation. This legislation has enabled the creation of Scotland’s first Marine Protected Area Network, including the South Arran MPA, and protects a wide variety of habitats, some of which are important fish nursery grounds.
We are not uncritical of the EU – it is has taken far too long to reform the Common Fisheries Policy and there is still much to do to improve fisheries management – but it at least provides an institution where European waters and fisheries can, in theory, be managed in an ecologically sound fashion with participation from all EU states. For instance, the North Sea has seen significant recovery of cod stocks.
COAST’s concern is that by leaving the EU we could undermine all of the above hard won marine legislation, stall progress on fisheries management for years and open the door to a deregulated "free for all" situation with weak environmental legislation. Previous moves to deregulate fisheries in the 1980s resulted in the end of the three mile limit on bottom trawling and the ensuing collapse of white fish stocks in the Clyde. Weaker regulation may bring short-term benefits to a few individuals, but we believe that in the long-term this would not benefit fishers, coastal communities or the marine environment. Therefore, the Community of Arran Seabed Trust is in favour of staying in the EU.
Let's keep working together and give our seas a chance to recover!
- The EU referendum and the UK environment: An expert review - UK Academics review how EU membership has influenced UK policies, systems of decision making and environmental quality.
- RSPB and WWF urge backers to vote to stay in EU to protect UK wildlife- Charities say Brexit would mean ‘years of uncertainty’, as David Cameron pledges to protect birds and habitats directives.
- "Fish out of water or critical Sea Change" - The Marine Conservation Society explains how being part of Europe has helped UK seas.