Our vision: Healthy seas around Arran and the Clyde
In 1995, two Arran divers (Howard Wood and Don MacNeish) set up the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) with the aim of reversing the decline in Arran’s marine habitats.
The decline had largely been caused by the 1984 removal of the ban on bottom trawling and scallop dredging within three miles of the UK coast. The decimation of the fish stocks had an evident impact on Arran’s community, its last international sea-angling festival was held in 1994 and saw catches down by 96%.
Today, COAST is recognised worldwide as one of the UK’s leading community marine conservation organisations, enjoying widespread support on Arran and beyond.
We promote sustainable marine management, deliver education programmes and maintain strong links with universities to ensure independent scientific research.
Over the years, our achievements have included:
• the establishment of Scotland’s first No Take Zone in Lamlash Bay in 2008
• the legal enforcement of the South Arran Marine Protected Area (MPA) to establish a ban on bottom trawling and scallop dredging in fragile habitats
• setting up strong links with universities such as Glasgow, Heriot Watt and York ensuring rigorous, independent research of marine life in the Clyde
• the development and delivery of an education and awareness programme for Arran schools, residents and visitors to the island
• advocating for the establishment of the Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust (SIFT) in 2011 to lobby for the reinstatement of the three mile fishing limit in the Clyde
• leading a high-profile campaign during the public consultation period for the MPA in 2013, gathering over 1,300 responses for the Scottish Government, of which 99 per cent were in favour of the MPA
• establishing a team of ambassadors including fisherman, divers, politicians and Arran residents to support the MPA and sustainable marine management
• Conservation winner of The Observer awards 2008.
• 2014 RSPB Nature of Scotland Award for Marine Conservation