COAST newsletter - October 2015
MPAs: Delays threaten marine recovery
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Delays to MPAs threaten marine recovery

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 the RACCE committee and mobile special pleading here.
Picture shows Brian Christie on Lamlash Bay NTZ lobster survey this summer

Arran youth turn blue

This autumn COAST young volunteers will be busy conducting a beach survey, preparing a South Arran MPA display for the High School and organising a “MPA Selfie’s” competition. We’ll also be welcoming back Jenny Stark, MSc (pictured with COAST Chair, Howard Wood) who will be volunteering with us until Christmas.
COAST is committed to harnessing the wealth of our MPA in ways that benefit the Arran and wider Clyde community, especially young people. This is why we engage students from High Schools and Universities to gain knowledge and skills through work experience in marine conservation. But there are many other “blue careers” with a real potential on Arran. These are enhanced by our MPA and include sustainable fishing (creeling, hand diving and angling) and outdoor coastal and marine activities (sailing, scuba diving, kayaking, wildlife tours, coastal walks and rides and glass-bottom boat trips).
View this European Commission infographic to understand the amount of money and jobs that depend on sustainably managed seas.
Jamie loves the sea
Jamie Fulton, 14 years old, enjoyed being a COAST volunteer this summer: "I was able to meet marine biology students and ask them questions."  Jamie impressed the team by identifying a young pollock in a shore pool. His love for marine life comes from fishing and rock-pooling during his holidays on Arran. Jamie specially enjoys touch tanks: "I like to see aquatic animals I have never seen before."
COAST welcomes volunteers of all ages so why not get in touch?

Reduction not expansion for salmon farm!

Many Arran residents and organisations will be expressing their disagreement with the proposed expansion of the St  Molios salmon fish farm in South Arran Marine Protected Area waters. The 20% increase in cage sizes and stocks will pollute our sea with fish feed and excrement, antifoulants, medicines that are toxic to marine invertebrates and potentially sea lice infestations that affect wild stocks. With the MPA designated its time for a reduction in fish farm size not expansion. Watch this video for more information and read COAST's factsheet on why we reject this development.  Please contact SEPA and let them know your views by the 20th of October 2015. 
Marine recreation survey
Is your business related to marine or coastal recreation? If so, please respond to this survey for Marine Scotland who are aiming to find out which areas of coast and sea are important for recreation and to recognise different marine recreation related businesses and their impact on the Scottish economy.
Creatures of the month - Hermit crabs 
These well-loved crustaceans are easily found along our shorelines and we can identify with their need to always be on the lookout for a larger home! With two pairs of antennae, the hermit crab uses one for feeling and the other for smelling and tasting. Their larger claw helps them grab onto things and defend themselves while their smaller claw is for eating. You will be able to find a few different species of hermit crabs on the MarLIN website.

This month's Videos

Beneath the Waves a diver's view before and after the dredgers!
Protect the Oceans Sylvia Earle's inspiring Ted Talk.

"With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you're connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live" S.E.

Coastal Way team blitz litter

The Arran Coastal Way is nearly 18 months into its 2 year coastal paths project. For one day a week this summer, the team took a break from building paths to clearing marine litter. Scott Murdoch, Footpath Team Leader says, “The Arran Coastal Way offers such stunning rugged coastal walking around the south coast of Arran, we felt we could make a real difference to the walking experience by clearing the mountains of man-made materials strewn across these beautiful places.”
The Coastal Way team with assistance from COAST volunteers, local farmers and North Ayrshire Council, filled and removed 146 one tonne sized bags, mainly with plastic waste, from Blackwaterfoot to Kildonan, sometimes using a boat to access remote shores.
For more information, see their website 
Countries vie to create largest MPAs!
Two of the largest MPA's in the world have been designated in the last 10 days! Chile (Islas Desventuradas) has established a no take zone of 297,000 square km while New Zealand's will be protecting 620,000 square km around the Kermarec Islands.
Copyright ©2015 COAST - Community of Arran Seabed Trust, All rights reserved.
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