COAST Newsletter - August 2016 
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Arran's MPA a tourism dynamo
Real opportunities for West Coast communities

Scotland's Marine Protected Areas network is shaping up with many now legally enforced. Forward-thinking local stakeholders are rolling up their sleeves to make the most of them despite attempts by the dredged-scallop and trawled-prawn lobby to continually undermine the process. Coastal communities deserve to see a stronger, more diverse, marine economy. Marine tourism is a key element of this, already contributing £3.7 billion to the Scottish economy, with a huge potential for sustainable growth.

Worldwide, MPAs raise the profile of their regions, attracting investment and providing local jobs and well-being. Visitors are keen to go sea angling, sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, take long strolls on beaches or get into more active games and sports by the sea. And what better way to end the day than with some creel-caught local prawns or hand-dived scallops?

On Arran, COAST is working closely with the Arran Coastal Way, Visit Arran and Visit Scotland to promote and respond to visitor's interest in the MPA and what it has to offer. Our plans are already crystallising for a purpose-built Marine Activities and Discovery Centre in Lamlash.

COAST urges Roseanna Cunningham, the Cab.Sec. responsible for Scotland's MPAs, to encourage similar initiatives around Scotland and to ensure our MPAs achieve the profile they deserve nationally and internationally. MPAs will not bring back the Clyde's large fish stocks on their own, but they will help. It is up to the people of Scotland to fly the flag and be proud of what we have achieved so far and keep fighting for fairer management of our seas.

MPA fishing zones
Recreational and commercial fishermen will find this map published by Marine Scotland useful. It shows fishing zones in the MPA. Sea angling is allowed everywhere except in the No Take Zone. Hobby creelers please note no creel boxes North of Pladda, in Whiting Bay and South of Holy Isle and further out at SW Arran.
We LOVE fishing!
We had a fantastic Fishing Fun day in Lamlash, learning how to cast, all about Scottish sharks and examined other marine life in our touch tank. There were also games and shore scramble. We interviewed Lewis Robinson, a local sea angler who is hopeful that the seas around Arran will recover thanks to the MPA: "There are good signs, I caught my first cod on Arran in 8 years a few weeks ago, off Clauchands Point.". Thanks to the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network team for sharing their energy and expertise!
COAST Summer fun
More COAST fun to come at the Arran Show today and at the Highland Games and Shore Scrambles. See our list of events this summer or have a look at some of our photos. Come along, say hello and get hold of your very own COAST souvenir. Alternatively shop online or donate to help the marine environment around Arran.
Species of the month: Greater Pipefish (Syngnathus acus)
Closely related to seahorses, the greater pipefish looks like a straightened and elongated version with a particularly long and slender snout and a distinctive humped head. Arran’s seagrass beds make the perfect home for pipefish, providing grounds for feeding, breeding and shelter. Go for a snorkel in our MPA and see how many you can spot.
A day in the research of - James Spilsbury
James Spilsbury joined COAST this July to work on a research project coordinated by the universities of York and Glasgow. He tells us what it’s like to study the evolution of seabeds now that dredging is excluded from the South Arran MPA in this interview.  
Discovery Centre online survey
Let us know about your ideas for Arran's Marine Activity and Discovery Centre through this 10 question survey. Volunteer Jenny Wright, a student from Edinburgh Napier University, will also be interviewing Arran residents and visitors. 
COAST joins Clyde Marine Planning Partnership
The Clyde has been chosen as one of the first two regional partnerships to develop a statutory marine plan to: "protect and enhance the marine environment while including measures to boost economic investment and growth". COAST is pleased to join the partnership and will be making the case for plans that are inclusive and benefit all stakeholders. With the demise of the proposed Clyde Regulating Order the most import issue remains the need for sensible spatial management to recover a balanced ecosystem with viable fish stocks. Scottish Environmental Link has identified critical aspects for these partnerships to succeed in its report "Living with the seas".
News from Save Scottish Seas 
Don't miss another great newsletter from Scottish Environment LINK’s Marine task force. Read about Brexit implications and other pressing issues for Scottish Seas.
Clyde Regulating Order 'out of order'
The majority of Clyde marine stakeholders including creelers, sea anglers,commercial and recreational divers, boat trip and accommodation providers, not to mention wildlife operators and eNGOs are dismayed that the Scottish Government has rejected SIFT's proposed Regulating Order (RO) for Clyde shell fisheries. This would have given local fishermen and other stakeholders a real say in fisheries management and given the Clyde a chance to recover from years of over-exploitation. Could it be that the Scottish Government is not prepared to stand up to the Clyde prawn lobby? We are seeking an urgent meeting with Marine Scotland and the new Cab. Sec. for fisheries, Fergus Ewing to ask him what he now intends to do to recover a balanced fishery in the Clyde. Read SIFT's response here.
Proud of our community 
We are over the moon! More than 20 volunteers have been helping out recently with research projects, outreach, photography, surveys, sharing their local knowledge, home baking - you name it, they have done it! Working together we can achieve so much more: Arran NTS Rangers, Ecosavvy, Arran Coastal Way, ANHS, SSACN, the Great Nurdle Hunt and the Clyde Marine Mammal Project,are just a few of the organisations we collaborate with.
Videos of the month 
Discover what is happening around the Scottish network of marine protected areas. Watch these two great films: A bountiful sea: story of the Wester Ross Marine Protected Area and the Fair Isle Research and Demonstration project MPA.
Copyright ©2016 COAST - Community of Arran Seabed Trust, All rights reserved.
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