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).
Coastal waters our brightest asset - April 2017 Newsletter
Coastal waters our brightest asset - But weak aquaculture and inshore fisheries management threatens our future
Spring has arrived and Easter visitors have been enjoying our local seafood and waters. Many, though, have asked us what’s happening with our campaign to prevent the expansion of Lamlash fish farm. Lamlash Bay is the most popular marine recreation area on Arran attracting divers, triathlon swimmers, skiff rowing competitions and young sailors. Jumping off the old pier is a tradition. It's no wonder then that locals and visitors are angry at the prospect of more fish waste and chemical treatments being poured straight into our bay and the South Arran Marine Protected Area.
Questions have been asked about the relationship between the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the salmon farming industry. SEPA is clearly under pressure from the industry and the Scottish Government to OK further expansion. At the same time, over 45 sea lochs in Scotland have been found to be polluted by salmon farm chemicals toxic to lobsters and crabs. While our Scandi neighbours in Norway are cracking down on open cage salmon farming, we are importing their eggs to be farmed in our seas. Why should our communities pay the environmental costs of this industry?
Read the full article and newsletter here.
Arran's MPA set for success - February 2017 Newsletter
Local folk love their Marine Protected Area!When underwater photographer Richard Shucksmith visited us a few months ago he was impressed with Arran's sea life, but even more with local people's knowledge and support of Arran's No Take Zone (NTZ) and Marine Protected Area (MPA):
"Getting ready for a dive on the pier I was approached by a local lady who kindly explained the COAST story to me and that I needed to be aware of the NTZ. I soon realised that the social impact of the NTZ and MPA has been just as important as its natural impact. The local community sees the NTZ as their own and a great way to promote healthy seas".
December newsletter: Community flotilla against fish farm expansion
Value of Islands and Community Empowerment Acts called into question
Last week Arran residents set sail to oppose the expansion of the St Molios fish farm. Despite freezing weather, over 50 people gathered on the beach in Lamlash and boarded a flotilla of craft including kayaks, RIBs and the Clyde Marine Mammal Project yacht. A photo shoot of the event was reported in the Scotsman as well as widely on social media.