COAST publishes regular newsletters highlighting issues relating to the marine environment of Arran the Clyde, Scottish and international, coastal waters.
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.
An account of the day by COAST board member Jim Henderson
I turned out on Saturday 14th June to assist COAST with transport and setting up their stall on Brodick beach, to meet a party arriving on the 0945 ferry. Little did I know what enjoyment the day was going to bring.
COAST set their stall by 10am and soon a few curious folks were calling by as they headed for the beach or to walk their dogs. COAST had organised a touch-tank full of a variety of creatures found around the shores of Arran. There was a stiff breeze, which caused a wee bit of bother erecting the pagoda. However the breeze soon abated and the day became very hot and humid at times.
COAST has been awarded a £3,000 grant from Arran Trust, Arran’s visitor gifting scheme which funds projects which look after the landscapes and environment of Arran.
The grant will fund the creation of a ‘Marine Mobile’ which will visit villages and locations around the island.
During the summer, the COAST team runs outdoor events including beach scrambles, beach art and marine-themed craft workshops, however the potential would be increased with a vehicle. COAST has therefore allocated funding to purchase a second-hand van and the Arran Trust grant will contribute to the costs of customising the vehicle as a marine interpretation unit.