COAST publishes regular newsletters highlighting issues relating to the marine environment of Arran the Clyde, Scottish and international, coastal waters.
Urges Scottish Government to effectively manage marine protected areas
Lamlash, Arran: The Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) has been awarded the 2014 RSPB Nature of Scotland Award for Marine Conservation. Recognised worldwide as one of the UK’s leading community marine conservation organisations, COAST has been acknowledged for its outstanding success in promoting sustainable marine management around the isle of Arran. The Marine Conservation Award is sponsored by Marine Scotland.
COAST led a 13-year campaign for the establishment of Scotland’s first No Take Zone in Lamlash Bay in 2008 and a three-year campaign for the establishment of a marine protected area (MPA) around the whole of the south of the island of Arran. The South Arran MPA, the only entirely community-led marine protected area in Scotland, was designated by the Scottish Government, alongside 29 others on 24 July 2014.
Andrew Binnie, COAST Manager, said: “Arran and COAST have been at the forefront of community-led marine conservation for nearly 20 years. During that time we have established Scotland's first No Take Zone in Lamlash Bay and just this summer, the South Arran Marine Protected Area. We are thrilled to have our work recognised by this prestigious award. However, we are not done yet.
COAST is one of the lucky finalists for the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards. To win this award for COAST's vital environmental work we need your vote. Please click the link below and scroll down the page to select COAST under the environment section. Then submit your vote at the bottom of the page.
Along with the Nature of Scotland Awards this is the second award COAST has been shortlisted for in 2014.
13 August 2014, Lamlash: A leading Arran-based community marine conservation organisation, the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST), has been shortlisted for a 2014 Nature of Scotland Award.
The Nature of Scotland Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate excellence, innovation and outstanding achievement in Scottish nature conservation and this year will see the third round of Awards presented to organisations and individuals.
COAST, which has been campaigning for the restoration of the seas around Arran for nearly 20 years has been shortlisted in the Marine Conservation Award category which recognises outstanding contribution to the conservation or sustainable management of Scotland's precious marine resources.
Scientists from across the United Kingdom are continuing our annual summer research programme within Lamlash Bay No Take Zone, and the newly designated South Arran Marine Protected Area.
Mathilda Evans, an MSc student from Edinburgh Napier University, joined COAST in June to conduct her ecotourism research project on Arran, looking into visitor interest in ‘marine-based activities’ and the readiness of Arran to make the most of the recently designated Marine Protected Area. Her research will be used by COAST to help realise the potential for marine-based tourist initiatives with local businesses, and will provide valuable insight into the general interest in marine issues, and the market for marine based activities.
Now time for Government ban on all scallop dredging within protected area!
It's been an exciting week for COAST and the Isle of Arran. The only entirely community-developed and proposed nature conservation marine protected area, the South Arran MPA, has now been designated by the Scottish Government. This was announced by Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and for the Environment, on 24 July 2014. Following three years of campaigning and consultation, the South Arran MPA was designated with 29 others (including two more in the Clyde) to form a network of MPAs around Scotland.
Could it be that the Scottish Government and Marine Scotland with advice from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), are showing the leadership our waters have long-needed? Marine Scotland and SNH certainly deserve praise for delivering the designation of the Scottish MPA network in the face of stiff opposition from vested interests. Both organisations have worked hard to achieve this and supported our proposal as part of the MPA network. SNH have conducted seabed studies mapping South Arran MPA species and habitats.
But much more needs to be done.