COAST publishes regular newsletters highlighting issues relating to the marine environment of Arran the Clyde, Scottish and international, coastal waters.
Arran islanders welcome creation of South Arran MPA – only community-led marine protected area in Scotland
24 July 2014, Lamlash: Arran islanders and the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) have welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement that the south of Arran is now a marine protected area (MPA).
The South Arran MPA is unique in being the only MPA proposed and developed entirely by a local community group, the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST).
The South Arran Nature Conservation MPA was designated today as part of a Scotland-wide network of 30 MPAs including two more in the Clyde. Arran’s MPA aims to protect and restore sea grass and maerl beds as well as many other sensitive habitats and species which have functional importance as fish nurseries and breeding grounds. Like much of the Clyde and Scottish inshore waters, Arran’s marine ecosystems are being severely degraded by destructive fishing practices such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling.
COAST and Fauna & Flora International (FFI) have partnered to create the new post of Marine Community Support Officer, Scotland. This collaboration builds on COAST’s established links with FFI as one of their partners in Scotland.
Mathilda Evans, an MSc student from Edinburgh Napier University, will be conducting her Ecotourism research project on Arran surveying visitor interest in marine based activities and Arran’s readiness to make the most of the proposed South Arran Marine Protected Area.
Katy Clark, MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, has submitted an Early Day Motion to Parliament congratulating the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) on the work they have undertaken in protecting the marine environment around the island. Speaking about COAST’s work, Katy Clark said:
“The work that COAST undertake is second to none. They campaigned for 13 years to ensure that Lamlash Bay was listed as a No Take Zone in 2008. This meant that the Bay is fully protected and that sea life cannot be removed by any means. In the five years this has been in place, the seabed has become 40% more complex and healthier than the area outside the zone. Surveys have revealed that there are higher densities of scallops, crabs and lobsters, both older and larger, being recorded and increased numbers of juvenile cod and haddock. It is the perfect example of what conservation and scientific research can produce.