COAST - Community of Arran Seabed Trust
Community of Arran Seabed Trust

Millport StudentsClyde marine station threatened with closure

'The University Marine Biological Station at Millport is a world class research and educational centre which must be saved from closure' says Andrew Binnie, COAST’s Marine Project Officer. Andrew is one of many former Millport students appalled by the withdrawal of funding and London University's decision to close this vital facility (see article on marine plastics contamination in the Clyde below). Read More.

Sign the petition to the Scottish Government to help save Millport Marine Biological Station from closure.
STOP PRESS MEPS vote today on Common Fisheries Policy reform. Show your support for change.
STOP PRESS The first Inshore Fisheries Conference will be held in Inverness tomorrow and Friday (7-8 Feb). COAST will be there.
Marine video links

Marine video links

A wolf in shrimp's clothing animation - Greenpeace takes a hard look at the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations.  Watch Video

Marine Conservation Society's MCZ animation - Only 31 English Marine Conservation Zones have been designated by the UK government out of 127 recommended by scientists.
Watch Video

The Last Fisherman - The views of sustainable small scale fishermen Watch Video

Howard Wood (COAST's Chair) goes diving - A fun short animation created by Howard's nephew Dominic Wood a few years ago.
Watch Video

Curled Octopus

Curled octopus

This weeks species of the month the curled octopus  (Eledone cirrhosa). It has one row of suckers on it's legs compared with the common octopus that has two. When feeding on crabs, the curled octopus can immobilise its prey by puncturing an eye or boring the shell carapace and injecting toxins into the body of the crab which paralysis it. Photo by Sean Ferris.
Read More.
Fishy Facts

Fishy Facts

COAST brings you a few topical statistics and factual nuggets from the marine news....

8% Cod landed - 92% Cod discarded,  West coast cod discards 11 times greater than landings. ICES recommends avoiding catching any cod in 2013 and 2014.
Estimated catches of west coast haddock stood at 3,227 tonnes of which almost half were discarded, while of the 569 tonnes of whiting caught, 60% were thrown back in the sea. Read More

800,000 salmon a year farmed in tanks on land? - a new fish farming company has some radical proposals for Kintyre. Read More

100 million brightly coloured and rare flame shells (Limaria hians), were found in Loch Alsh Read More
There used to be extensive flameshell beds in Lamlash bay in the 1900’s. They have not been recorded here for many years.  Read More

9 adult Orcas (killer whales) resident in Scotland.  This group are in threat of extinction. Read More

Arran Mountain Festival

Arran Mountain Festival

17th - 20th May. Includes the Holy Isle Mountain Walk.  Leaders will provide you with a fascinating insight into COAST's  marine conservation work.
Curly Octopus Logo

Curly the octopus?

This is COAST's draft logo and name for the Arran Community Marine Reserve (South Arran MPA) mascot. If you feel inspired to draw us a curled octopus logo please send it in - or if you like this one let us know! email
Plastic bags

Plastic pollutes the Clyde

Scientists from the threatened Marine Biological Station on the Isle of Cumbrae found that  80% of flatfish and 60% of hermit crabs in the Firth of Clyde have ingested miniscule pieces of plastic. An earlier study found 80 per cent of prawns were contaminated. Government attempts to reduce plastics entering the seas around Scotland are not succeeding. 
Read More 

What can you do?   Use re-usable shopping bags. Collect beach litter. Avoid cleansing products that have added micro plastic particles as a scrubber.
Read More
Calum McNicol Atlantic Row

Atlantic row!

Calum McNicol from Arran Adventure Company is in the middle of crossing the Atlantic in a Rowing boat! Attempting to be part of the first ever crew to achieve a sub-30 day crossing, Calum is also raising money for an Ayrshire hospice charity.
visit his website
Creeling boat sustainable fishing


SIFT update

The Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust has established itself as a rational voice in inshore fisheries management challenging the failed policies of government and the trawler's associations, which have left the Clyde devoid of healthy white fish stocks.
Read more.
Politician swims with sharks

Politician swims with sharks

Alyn Smith, Scottish MEP, swam with sharks to highlight their plight. Read More. Scotland lead the way to successfully banning shark finning in EU waters. Read More

Trawler spotters wanted!

COAST needs more volunteers as it gears up towards establishing Arran's Community Marine Reserve (South Arran MPA).  We need a trawler spotter from each community around the island to monitor activity and report on a weekly basis. Let us know if you can help.
Senegal Fishermen

Senegalese fishermen and foreign boats

On a recent trip to Senegal Andrew Binnie met up with local fishermen who told him about their tough lives. 
Read More.
A wolf in Shrimps CLothing

A wolf in shrimp's clothing

Greenpeace reveals that over half (57%) of the fishing capacity represented by the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (including 20 of the 30 largest vessels) in the combined English, Welsh and Northern Irish fleet – is ultimately controlled by Spanish, Dutch and Icelandic interests.  Read More
Holyisle Summit

Protecting wonderful Scotland

Find out more about the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS), the charity which promotes the care of all of Scotland’s rural landscapes. Many of our most beautiful views are from the sea.
LInk to APRS

Coastal webcams

Do you have a coastal webcam or weather station that could be linked to the internet? Would you be willing to share on COAST's website? If so please contact us. email
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If you have enjoyed reading this newsletter and feel supportive of COAST, please get in touch. Our work to date has been made possible by charitable funding, government grants, individual donations and a lot of voluntary time and effort. If you would like to offer any financial support, you can donate via the website. Alternatively feel free to contact us at

Thank you for reading COAST’s 26th newsletter. We hope you are looking forward to the next edition - due in April!

Coming in next month's newsletter:
- Spring COAST round-up
- More about the proposed South Arran MPA
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