On Whiting Bay Beach, by www.rgsimey.scot

Simon is an Arran based Graphic Designer who has worked with COAST as a consultant on various projects, including the displays for the Discovery Centre and the magnetic chart of Arran, mock ups of the front end of the new website, and the interpretation panels soon to be found across the island. 

After many years living in Peru, he has now returned home to Arran. He believes the island has huge potential to become more sustainable and self sufficient, which is what inspires him to work and volunteer with us. He has also set up the Arran Green Map

What do you do as a COAST volunteer?
As a volunteer I help to set up events, talk to people about the importance of marine conservation around the island, 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?
Returning home to Arran has given me a lot of hope for building a sustainable future. 

I’d love to see the people currently employed by unsustainable fish farms get into real sustainable angling/creeling/diving for shellfish so that we can all eat some real seafood for a change and not farmed salmon which, let’s just say, isn’t exactly the finest gastronomical experience (it tastes dreadful).