Lochranza fishing fleets

Simon helps COAST with graphic design, manning the Octopus Centre and setting up gazebos! A travel industry professional, he has returned home to Arran after many years living in South America. He believes the island has huge potential to become more sustainable, which is what inspires him to work with us.

What do you do as a COAST volunteer?
I help to set up events, talk to people about the importance of marine conservation around the island, assist with graphic design projects such as flyers and I write to our elected representatives in support of campaigns. I like and retweet COAST’s tweets where relevant and I’m tall enough to help set up gazebos. 

Why do you volunteer with COAST?
I adore seafood and the idea of a future with no fresh scallops, mussels, lobsters, shellfish, squid and all the other beautiful critters is not exactly how I plan to spend my retirement years. The only way we can protect and regenerate the biodiversity of ocean environments is through marine conservation such as South Arran’s MPA and the No Take Zone in Lamlash Bay. Anyone who says otherwise is, in my opinion, not telling you the truth!  

Which is your favourite marine animal and why?
The octopus, so so deliciou… erm, I mean, so intelligent!! (Sorry Curly.) Seriously though I do love dolphins, I reckon they know more than they are letting on. 

What would you say to local people who would like to volunteer with COAST?
We are perilously close to destroying everything that lives in the ocean, and right here in your community there are people devoting their time and energy to stop that from happening. Join us! 

Anything else you would like to add?
I’ll be honest – years living in the Global South left me despondent about the issues that we face and the future for the dear old human species. Returning to Arran has given me a lot of hope. 

As a final note, I would like to say that farmed salmon is a lie, it tastes dreadful, and who actually genuinely cares if it’s Scotland’s second biggest export? Does that actually mean anything to you on a day-to-day basis? Can the people employed by fish farms not get into real sustainable angling/creeling/diving for shellfish so that we can all eat some real seafood for a change?? I’d pay good money for that!