Happy Christmas from COAST - Community of Arran Seabed Trust
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Arran's MPA attracts over 1200 responses...
Thank YOU and best wishes of the season!

COAST’s Treasurer Sibbie Sangster and Manager Andrew Binnie visited Holyrood last month to deliver hand-written Marine Protected Area responses to the Scottish Government. Andrew said, 'We are delighted with the response. There has been a huge turn out in favour of the Arran MPA. We received over 1200 individual and business responses in the end, well over our original target. That’s a fantastic level of support for a complicated consultation and a real testament to our volunteers and supporters.

CHolyroodOAST has received strong cross-party backing from local MSP Kenneth Gibson (pictured centre) and MP Katy Clark. MSP Baroness Annabel Goldie also visited the COAST office recently and voiced her support for our work. The Scottish Government must have MPAs in place and well managed by the end of 2016. Marine Scotland indicated that they expected designation decisions to be made in the first half of next year. That doesn't leave them much time! With your support COAST will be keeping the pressure on the Government to ensure the Arran MPA is designated as part of a coherent Scotland-wide MPA network as soon as possible.
Top Photo: Arran in the snow, March 2013, Zabdi Keen. Bottom photo: COAST at Holyrood.

Stocking Fillers

COAST sold mugs T-shirts and other goodies at the Whiting Bay Christmas fair last weekend. If you would like to purchase COAST merchandise visit Arran Active in Brodick or our website.
The COAST team at our festive night out.

North Ayrshire Council's marine vision

NAC recognised the massive potential of our marine and coastal zone in a recent press release on marine planning. They gave special mention to Arran's proposed MPA. 'This designation would benefit the island and attract more visitors with the establishment of educational and research facilities and more tourist attractions based on water-based recreation.' COAST is urging the council to improve Arran's small boat facilities with improved jetties and floating pontoons, which will help facilitate the increasing demand for marine research. Read NAC's full press release here.
Chose hand-dived scallops this Christmas
As we go to press scallop dredgers continue to plough-up our sea beds destroying important habitats around our shores (photo shows dredgers over maerl and sea cucumber beds). Despite commitments from the Government that this activity will be stopped while proposed MPA sites are being assessed nothing is being done. While our Government continues to lag behind Scandinavian countries who promote healthy hand-dived fisheries let's vote with our feet and chose sustainably harvested scallops.
Copyright © 2013 COAST - Community of Arran Seabed Trust, All rights reserved.

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