COAST walks on water for MPAs. Spring marine news.
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Scotland can demonstrate responsible marine management

In what is a busy and interesting year for Scotland and the UK, it would be easy to miss a potentially significant change in the approach of Marine Scotland and the Scottish Government to the way our seas are managed. While partly driven by EU legislation, there also now appears to be a realisation that the Scottish people and electorate (!) are the main stakeholders in a well-managed marine environment rather than any particular vested interest. In part due to the work of COAST in the Clyde and other pro sustainable-fishing groups, the public are now far more aware of the damage that has been done to marine life and our fisheries and the need for serious reform. It is therefore encouraging to see the Government and Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead beginning to respond to this through parliamentary debates, the proposed network of Marine Protected Areas and the Clyde 2020 summit scheduled later this month.

However, there is still a lot more to be done before COAST and the wider public will be fully convinced. A necessary first step must be designated and properly managed MPAs. Sadly, at present, Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage are under a lot of pressure from the mobile fishing sector to limit management to 'relic' sites, and create 'paper parks' (a common feature in less developed countries). An announcement on designation areas should be made this summer with decisions on specific management options coming at a later date. MPAs have to be designated this year and well managed by the end of 2016 so this delay is not ideal. As always the devil will be in the detail, but for now let’s give the Government and Marine Scotland the benefit of the doubt. COAST encourages them to follow through on the progress they have made to date. Coastal communities around Scotland want to feel proud of their marine life and see it managed responsibly.

Photo above and below: COAST outside Holyrood for Clyde debate initiated by Kenneth Gibson, MSP

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Watch Time and Tide Arran video

Tom Appleby explains why Government's must legally ensure fishing is within sustainable limits. Read his full written report and summary here

Species of the month: Atlantic Cod

Atlantic cod belong to a family of fish called gadoids. These are cold water commercial fish species’ that can be found across the Atlantic Ocean. Identified by their speckled brown colour, three dorsal fins, white lateral line and chin barbell, cod live in demersal waters (the area of the water column close to the seabed). 
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Other Videos

Clyde 2020 Good Environmental Status debate. View
The hidden world of Scotland's Seas by SNH View
Greenpeace – what we do protecting our oceans View
World of Wonder - Deep Ocean Voyage-HD View


COAST attends Clyde debate in Holyrood

Following November’s visit to present Cabinet Secretary; Richard Lochhead with over 1,300 responses in support of the MPA, COAST was back at Holyrood in March to attend the Clyde 2020 Good Environmental Status debate.
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Arran beach cleans: COAST supports local action

So far in 2014, COAST volunteers have collected over 500kg of litter from the shores of Arran, including many items from fishing vessels (we welcome initiatives to address this). Meantime, please help us to get rid of the rubbish on our shores. When you’re out walking, take a bag and gather any litter for safe removal - every bit helps!
Marine litter poster

What fish to eat?
Where does it come from?
Are you choosing the right ones?
Your Guide to Sustainable Seafood

Creelers get funding for national co-ordinator

Richard Lochhead, Robbie Findlay (15 yrs old) and Alistair Sinclair at the Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation stand last month promoting creeling as a traditional and sustainable fishing method for the next generation. A newly created position of National Co-ordinator will be advertised soon.  Check SCFF link.

Marine Conservation Northern Ireland

A group from Marine Conservation Northern Ireland recently visited Arran to meet with COAST.  With the help of recent government funding, the Northern Irish organisation plans to create a greater awareness of marine laws across NI.
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COAST Easter Beach Scavenger Hunt

Sat 19th April at 10am.  Meet opposite Lamlash Bay Hotel. Learn about the amazing marine life on our shore and discover hidden Easter Eggs!

Coming in the June newsletter: COAST will host lawyers & QCs from around the UK on Arran in May to discuss how we can use the law to shape future marine environmental management. We will also look at the resources England's Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Areas have and ask why Marine Scotland Compliance is not better resourced. 

Copyright © 2014 COAST - Community of Arran Seabed Trust, All rights reserved.

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