October Newsletter - Protection agency set to approve salmon farm expansion in Arran's MPA
West coast communities fighting for more say in MPA mangement
The Scottish Salmon Company sounds like it could be a traditional purveyor of sustainably-managed wild salmon owned and run by our fellow Scots. Unfortunately, this is not the case. As many west coast communities know to their cost, the SSC is in fact a large internationally-based corporation that is doing all it can to increase the number and capacity of fish farms in Scottish waters - whether or not communities want them. Many do not. COAST does not oppose on-shore contained fish farming but believes, with good reason, that net cage farming is detrimental to wild salmon and other marine life. It is therefore regrettable that, once again, the people of Arran are having to devote scarce resources to fighting off a proposed expansion of net cage salmon farming in Lamlash Bay. This expansion is within a stone's throw of the No Take Zone and in the recently designated South Arran Marine Protected Area. It is clearly not compatible with the conservation and restoration status of priority marine features in the MPA, such as our recovering maerl beds and seagrass meadows. Despite this, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) seems to be under pressure to give its approval.
Read the full newsletter here.
Welcome to COAST
We are a community organisation working for the protection and restoration of the marine environment around Arran and the Clyde.
We aim to:
• improve the local marine environment for the benefit of everyone
• help sustain the livelihood of those dependent on fishing and tourism
• increase the popularity of the area as a diving site and tourist destination
• educate future generations on the need for marine conservation.
COAST is recognised worldwide as one the UK’s leading community marine conservation organisations. We were responsible for the establishment of Scotland’s first No Take Zone in Lamlash Bay.
We are now campaigning for effective management of the designated South Arran Marine Protected Area (MPA).
Top ten ideas from our tour to Marine Visitor Centres
It is amazing how much you can learn in just 24 hours. Our COAST team’s whistle-stop tour to visitor centres up the West Coast of Scotland left us buzzing with ideas and inspiration.
Andrew, Jenny and myself were lucky to be welcomed by most of the centre managers, whose insight on a range of interpretive approaches and practicalities was very useful indeed. We’d like to thank Anuschka Miller (SAMS Ocean Explorer Centre), Pauline Massey and Alison Lomax (Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Shop and Visitor Centre), Lyndsey Bird (Mull Aquarium) and the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary and Kilmartin Museum staff for letting us explore their facilities.
Here is a list of our favourite approaches and features, the ones we felt were most engaging, original and/or meaningful:
1. Quirky or cheeky features: We were “wowed” by a clever adaptation of the augmented reality sandbox, set up by the Mull aquarium team and we just loved the cheeky marine science facts at the SAMS Ocean Explorer Centre (Tip: don’t miss a visit to their public conveniences!)
2. Alive and kicking: Information and exhibitions that change and those that are actally “alive” like the Mull Aquarium Catch and Release tanks. It is inspiring to see how individual volunteers, community groups and businesses take part in the centre.
Read the Octopus Ink for Arran Summer news & fun!
The COAST team is really happy to have published the "Octopus Ink", our first summer newspaper for residents and visitors to Arran.
It includes interesting news about Arran's sealife and the MPA, marine related events and fun facts and activities for children.
Look out for it on the ferry, at hotels and public places or download the pdf version here.
We will also be at the Visit arran stand at Glasgow Central Station on Saturday the 24th of September if you would like a copy and a chat with us!
Arran COAST to be featured in "SCOTLAND: The Big Picture"
COAST is thrilled to be part of an exciting new project that brings together photography and storytelling to make the case for a wilder Scotland: "SCOTLAND: The Big Picture"
Photographer Richard Shucksmith is part of The Big Picture team. He has been exploring the South Arran Marine Protected Area, below and above the surface with Dr Jo Porter, expert in bryozoans and member of Heriot-Watt University scientific dive team, our Chair Howard Wood and local underwater photographer Gus Robson.
For project founder Peter Cairns, who has co-led one of the world's largest conservation communication initiatives, the Wild Wonders of Europe, this project, "SCOTLAND: The Big Picture" was "an itch that's needed scratching for almost two decades.(...) It's about "doing something in Scotland" that has led him and his team to tell a story that