Local creel boat Julie Ann and crew (Photo: COAST/Howard Wood)
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Dredger violation impacts on local creelers

COAST advocates the continuation of well-managed creeling, hand diving and sea angling within the South Arran MPA. We were therefore as surprised as local creelers by an emergency Marine Conservation Order which prohibits them fishing within three Marine Protected Area (MPA) sub sections. This was imposed, we are told, after a scallop dredger violated a voluntary agreement to stay out of maerl beds within the MPA prior to considered management being put in place. Neither COAST nor local creelers were consulted. The attitude of the Scottish Fishermen's Associations and Marine Scotland seems to be that if dredgers are to be excluded then so must creelers. However, sustainably managed creeling has minimal impact on the seabed and creelers avoid maerl beds as they are not lobster grounds. Unfortunately, the Order as it stands covers some areas of seabed which are not maerl and penalises local creelers for the actions of a few rogue scallopers. There are dozens of scientific papers showing the impact of dredging on seabed habitats. A 'plough' being dragged across the seabed is clearly going to destroy maerl beds. While COAST welcomes the exclusion of dredgers and trawlers from these areas as a first step towards prohibiting this activity from the entire MPA we do not agree that creelers should be treated in the same way as dredgers. This fails to recognise that well-managed creeling can be sustainable. We urge Richard Lochhead to remove this ban on local creelers and to begin discussions with them to resolve the issue. A well managed MPA has the potential to benefit sustainable fishing methods as well as provide a real boost for leisure activities in the area based on recovering marine life.

International Congress

COAST's Manager Andrew Binnie presented an Arran seagrass poster and gave a talk during the Clyde session at the International Marine Conservation Congress held in Glasgow. We learned that coastal communities world-wide face similar obstacles to Arran. Also that the decreasing size of fish in the Clyde is almost certainly due to fishing pressure.

Three videos

Clyde Reflections
A thought provoking and immersive film experience featuring COAST footage and voice overs from Howard Wood,  Andrew Binnie and others. 
Dredging impacts on Seabed
Brilliant short video produced and edited by one of our younger supporters
Vicious Beauties
The Secret World Of The Jelly Fish

Branched antenna hydroid

Hydroids are colonial predators related to jellyfish. Resembling plants, they form part of the delicate seafloor habitat.
Read More

COAST, staff and students

Staff and MSc students had a busy summer. Andy Telford completed his level 2 powerboat course, allowing him to assist dive surveys. Matt Judge and Mathilda Evans finished their Arran-based MScs, resulting in a Distinction for Mathilda (Matt is waiting on results). She is now volunteering with us and engaging with local businesses developing marine-based activities around the MPA. Matt landed a job in the Seychelles as a Conservation Officer but will be working on COAST videos before he goes.
COAST is delighted to announce we have been shortlisted for a Nature of Scotland award. These celebrate excellence in Scottish nature conservation. COAST has been shortlisted in the Marine Conservation Award category. The third annual Nature of Scotland Awards organised by the RSPB will be presented on the 20 November, 2014 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh.

Archie McFarlane

Throughout the MPA designation process COAST attended many workshops with Archie McFarlane, Secretary of the Clyde Fishing Association. Although we did not always agree we found Archie to be a very likeable and straight forward man. We were very sad to learn of his untimely death and send our condolences to his family and friends.

Hooray for Arran's MPA!

In August Arran residents celebrated the creation of the MPA with sea shanties, a kayak paddle past, face painting and the Arran Pipe Band. It was a great opportunity to say thank you to the local community for their continued and vital support.

Sue's Atlantic adventure

Arran resident Sue Weaver will be sailing the Atlantic this November as part of an all female crew researching marine plastics and the impact on women's health. At the same time she is raising money for COAST (over £300 already!). We wish Sue fair winds to America. Full details.

Surveys galore

In September COAST, Glasgow University and Scottish Natural Heritage all carried out habitat surveys around Arran to gather baseline data, investigate relationships with fish nursery grounds and determine the extent of biotopes. COAST Chair and diver Howard Wood discovered a rare bed of Monkey Puzzle Bryozoans in the MPA.
Copyright © 2014 COAST - Community of Arran Seabed Trust, All rights reserved.

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