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 the complete exclusion of trawlers and dredgers from the newly designated south Arran Marine Protected Area (MPA).
MPA SELFIE COMPETITION - HOW TO ENTER
COAST has organised an MPA selfie photograph competition that will get Arran’s young residents and visitors busy in or nearby the South Arran Marine Protected Area.
Young people from 13 to 25 years of age are being invited to explore Arran’s healthy and rich marine environment in different ways and capture an image of themselves (with or without friends and family) in a selfie to share with other people ideas and examples of how we can enjoy, learn and make the most of Arran’s MPA coastal and marine wildlife, resources and landscapes in a sustainable way.
Young photographers can choose to enter any of these three categories. Prizes include a marine wildlife boat tour with Ocean Breeze, T-shirts, beanie hats and other goodies:
1. Amazing seas and coasts: Enjoy the Coastal Way walks, watching out for otters, seals, oystercatchers, herons, black guillemot or gannets - the largest seabirds in the UK. You could portrait yourself with any of the magnificent seascapes around the Arran MPA.
2. Active on, by or under the sea: Take a photo in action. For instance take a snapshot when playing sports or doing yoga on the beach. You could picture yourself rockpooling while studying the behaviour of hermit crabs, bright red anemones, prawns or barnacles. Or perhaps you would prefer to set off to sea and take your selfie snorkelling, kayaking, rowing, sailing or sea angling. You could be lucky enough to encounter dolphins, porpoises, minke whales or basking sharks on a calm day...
3. Creative or funny marine selfies: look for an unusual composition, frame or perspective. Or try a photomontage with a message if you are far away and unable to take your photograph at the MPA.
What do you need to do?
Between the 20th of November and until the 4th of December, post your selfie with a title (caption) to the COAST Facebook Page and a separate direct Facebook message specifying:
- Title of the photograph (so we can identify it)
- Name and surname
- Home telephone number, email address and home address
- A short statement of a sentence describing what about the South Arran MPA coast or sea inspired you
Winners will be selected in each of three categories (Amazing Coasts and Seas, Active on, by or under the Sea and Creative or funny marine selfies). There will also be a “public” prize for the photo with most “Likes” on Facebook. The first prize will be a marine wildlife rib tour with Ocean Breeze and a COAST beanie hat or cap. Second prize is a COAST fleece and a COAST beanie hat or cap and third prize is a COAST T-shirt and a COAST mug. The prize for the most “likes” on Facebook will be a COAST mug and a beanie hat or cap.
Please note that even if various people appear on the selfie photograph, just one person can submit this photo and will receive the prize. Only one entry is allowed per person.
Entries must include the South Arran MPA coastal or marine zone (see a map of the MPA) as a close up or in the background. The photographer should also be present in the photo in some way.
Photos must be the young person’s original work. Only the “Creative or funny marine selfies” category allows for images to be edited on Photoshop or with other techniques (collage, etc.).
Photos should have a minimum resolution of 300ppi.
Read the full guidelines and conditions here.
Speedy implementation of Marine Protected Areas urged by Rural Affairs
It is not hard to see the benefits of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) - for the marine environment itself, and also for all of us who depend on it for food, leisure and jobs - so it was disappointing when leaders of the mobile fishing lobby launched a well-funded campaign against the Scottish Government’s MPA management proposals this summer. Many alarmist and socially divisive claims are being made by this campaign which bear no relation to the scope and impact of the Government’s draft Marine Conservation Orders (MCOs).
Under pressure, the Rural Affairs Climate Change and Environment Committee (RACCE) was obliged to hear additional submissions from some fisheries stakeholders (no one else was invited), a process which has delayed MCOs by at least three months. COAST, therefore, welcomes RACCE's letter to Richard Lochhead following its consideration of the MPA network, and its insistence that ‘full implementation of MPAs is brought into effect as soon as possible’ and no later than by the end of this parliamentary session (March 2016). This is especially important since the Scottish Government has a legal duty under Scottish, UK and EU legislation to have a well-managed network of MPAs in place by 2016. Time is running out fast.
To the credit of the Scottish Government, Marine Scotland and SNH thirty MPAs were designated last July in the seas around Scotland as a first step towards full MPA implementation.
To put things in perspective inshore MPAs will constitute just 3.5% of Scottish inshore waters. Management measures under the MCOs are expected to impact less than 3% of mobile fishing turnover (this is a worst case scenario which assumes no displacement of fishing effort to other fishing grounds). The locations of MPAs were carefully chosen to maximize conservation objectives and minimize the impact on current fishing activity. Even so, MPAs are expected to have a positive spill-over effect on fisheries by protecting complex seabed areas which serve as spawning and nursery grounds for our wider seas. They will also reduce gear conflict between the mobile and static sectors and boost the diversity and resilience of local economies by encouraging sustainable fishing and bolstering marine tourism and leisure industries. These all thrive upon a vibrant marine environment so it makes common sense to look after our marine life.
In extensive MPA consultations conducted by Marine Scotland the Scottish public has been very supportive of MPA designations and the sustainable management of our seas, which are a vital and extremely valuable public resource. As Richard Lochhead said at the recent Inshore Fisheries Conference: ‘Scotland's seas are not owned by any one individual or vested interest’. COAST believes it is time for balanced and enlightened self-interest for the benefit of future fishers and all marine stakeholders. MPAs are an important step forwards. Let’s get on with the job and be proud of them.
For more information please contact:
COAST (Community of Arran Seabed Trust)
Tel: 01770 600656
Scottish charity No. SC042088
Photo: Nudibranch photographed by Angus Robson, taken in the South Arran Marine Protected Area. See http://www.arransealife.co.uk/
Delays to MPAs threaten marine recovery - October newsletter
COAST urges the Rural Affairs, Climate Change & Environment Committee (RACCE) to give Richard Lochhead and the Scottish Government its full support
Despite considerable pressure from the mobile fishing lobby, who seem intent on ruining the Scottish Government's best efforts to create a well-managed network of MPAs, Richard Lochhead is determined Scotland will have a credible MPA network. At the recent Inshore Fisheries Conference he said 'Scotland's seas are not owned by any one individual or vested interest '. This is important not just for the South Arran MPA but also for the MPA network and Scotland's future as a productive, maritime society. He is correct to point out that representatives from a particular sector have no right to turn public policy on its head. In fact at the outset MPAs were delineated by Marine Scotland in a way that minimized impact on mobile fishers. And already, Arran has been asked to accept trawling in 36% of its MPA; Upper Loch Fyne will, sadly, nearly all be open to trawlers. Many compromises are already built into the network which can only succeed in creating a healthier marine environment if it offers real protection within the small areas designated. Further watering down and delays will turn MPAs into paper parks rather than a source of pride.
Coastal communities need healthy biodiverse seas that support a diversity of marine jobs, not vulnerable monocultures benefiting only a few. MPAs have a critical part to play in marine recovery and in creating jobs for young and old. We therefore encourage the RACCE committee to give Richard Lochhead its full support in passing his MPA Marine Conservation Orders into law without further delay. Marine Scotland has held over 100 consultations since 2011. Our descendants will not thank us if, we once again, cave-in to narrow interests who care little about a shared marine future.
Read Richard Lochhead's response to RACCE and mobile special pleading here.
Read the full October 2015 Newsletter