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).
August 2015 Newsletter
Scotland's coastal communities deserve ambition, not scare stories
Time for vision and long term planning
The Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Richard Lochhead, has a public duty to be 'ambitious' for Scotland's coastal communities and marine environment. Yet interests promoting the controversial practices of scallop dredging and bottom trawling are attacking him for using this word in relation to what are actually very modest Marine Protected Area (MPA) management proposals. The Government's proposals will only effect 1.6% of scallop dredging gross turnover and 1.3% of bottom trawling, and even this assumes the vessels wont simply fish elsewhere (some representatives from the mobile sector have emphasized repeatedly that displacement will occur as an argument against MPAs - they can't have it both ways). In addition, many MPAs including the South Arran MPA will still allow some dredging or bottom trawling to continue (36% of the South Arran MPA will be available to bottom trawlers). Despite this, an often hysterical sounding mobile sector is scaremongering coastal communities by declaring the MPA network will end fishing on the West coast. Let's be clear, it will not. In fact, Lochhead's measures may well be 'ambitious' in the face of this blinkered opposition but they can only be accurately described as 'modest' by any reasonable standards.