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 Â£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.