COAST August 2017 Newsletter                                                                    View this email in your browser
No salmon farm expansion in Arran's MPA

Scotland’s inshore fisheries management not fit for purpose

The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) has withdrawn its application to expand the St Molios salmon fish farm in Lamlash Bay. This follows SEPA admitting to errors in their ecological appraisal which wrongly predicted the expansion would lead to a decrease instead of an increase of toxic Emamectin Benzoate going into the South Arran Marine Protected Area.

With escalating salmon exports - up 70% in the first half of 2017 - the SSC can afford to pay law firms like MacRoberts to manage the case, while the people of Arran have invested thousands of hours to get this SEPA-approved application "called in" by the government. Without the commitment of our community, this expansion would have gone ahead, risking our environment, well-being and livelihoods (salmon aquaculture in Scotland accounts for under 0.1% of employment).  

But the story, unfortunately, does not end here.

The problem of sea lice in intensive salmon farming has led the industry to start to replace chemical treatments with wrasse cleaner fish. To treat 60 million Scottish-farmed salmon, 3 million wrasse are required of which 80% are caught in the wild. Here in the South Arran MPA, local fishermen are being paid by the SSC to fish wrasse but there is no publicly available information on wrasse stocks or landings, no restrictions on catches and no impact assessments required. Is our government giving the salmon farming industry a free ride?

According to Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal: “The salmon farming industry has already destroyed numerous wild salmon and sea trout fisheries on the West Coast of Scotland and now seems intent on doing the same to wild wrasse stocks in the South West of England". Devon's Inshore Fishery Conservation Authority has quickly limited this new fishery. However there has been no response to this matter in Scotland, despite concern for wrasse stocks being on the agenda of Scottish Inshore Fishery Groups for years and recent proposals of protecting wrasse from groups like the Wester Ross Fisheries Trust.

This all points to the malfunction of Scotland’s Inshore Fisheries Management. Once again, COAST calls for an urgent reform based on local empowerment, good governance, and social and environmental justice.

 

Seagrass in the spotlight 
Which species can you spot in this video by research student Kameron Dry? He is using baited underwater cameras to research life in seagrass beds around Arran. These are exciting first steps towards participatory monitoring in our MPA with local snorkellers and kayakers.
MPA monitoring strategy announced
We were pleased to hear Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham's commitment to maintain existing environmental protections provided within EU Law at the Sea Scotland 2017 and the launch of a long awaited MPA monitoring strategy. The Clyde Marine Planning Partnership continue to raise awareness of marine spatial planning through their Challenge Events around the Clyde. 
Just lovin' COAST
What a surprise! Veronika and Stephan Taig asked their guests for donations to COAST instead of wedding gifts at their single-use plastic free wedding.
The children improvised a fundraiser on the day selling recycled decorations and flowers! We’d like to send them and Kristina a huge thank you from the COAST team.
Volunteers decorating Arran's Marine Hub
Following renovation works, COAST volunteers are making final improvements to the interior of the pavilion. A unique programme of marine events and workshops will be offered to locals and visitors all year round once we open to the public in Spring 2018. For latest updates visit https://octopuscentre.wordpress.com
eXXpedition ahoy!
Women scientists, students, artists, filmmakers, business women, psychologists, ocean activists and sailors will be arriving in Lamlash on the Sea Dragon as part of their 30 day eXXpedition around the UK. With NTS Rangers and CMMP we'll be joining them to raise awareness about marine plastics and their impact on the environment and human health.
Locally, we've been doing beach cleans and recycled art projects with local groups like Eco Savvy, Arran Wild Walks and the Umbrella Group - and we are always hunting for nurdles!
Minkes, porpoises and basking sharks!
This summer we've had many sightings of marine mammals and even a few basking sharks in the South Arran MPA and near Lochranza. Giant lions mane jellyfish continue to marvel sailors and swimmers, but watch out for their sting!  
Check the new Whale Track app by the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust and keep the Clyde Marine Mammal Project informed of any sightings or the SMASS for any strandings.
Power to communities for marine licensing 
There is an open call for views on the Scottish Government's Island Bill which would increase local accountability and control in managing pressures on the local marine environment. SEPA are also looking for the public's views on their new proposal (Depositional Zone Regulation) to regulate marine cage fish farms, favouring the development of these in more exposed sites. SEPA would monitor impacts instead of the industry and new depositional zone limits would be established. 
 
New COAST Director
The COAST team welcomes the arrival of Paul Chandler, a geoscientist and diver with a strong business background and management skills. Paul managed the Global Oil Slicks project and has 34 years experience in the engineering and environmental sectors; "COAST attracted me because it is full of people with a passion for the marine environment and now is an exciting time of change".
Fizzing with fun
We've had a busy summer collaborating with the local NTS Rangers, SSACN, the SSTP and Eco Savvy.
Children and adults learnt how to cast, catching juvenile cod and whiting at our Family Fishing Day. A lucky winner won a RiB Tour with Ocean Breeze when she guessed the size of the largest lobster caught during this year's crustacean surveys. A staggering 138mm!
Species of the month: Cuckoo Ray (Leucoraja naevus)
In June, COAST divers encountered one of these rays in Whiting Bay - the first seen in 30 years!
Growing up to 75cm, these rays are found on coastlines throughout the North-East Atlantic. Cuckoo rays are easy to identify thanks to their large black eye-spot on each pectoral fin, with distinctive marble colouration with yellow stripes. Find out more from our friends at the Shark Trust
Prawn Potential 
This Open Seas article offers excellent insight into the benefits of sustainable seafood and why the Scottish Creel Fishing Federation has asked the government to give preference to creel prawn fishing in inshore waters.  
Copyright © 2017 COAST - Community of Arran Seabed Trust, All rights reserved.
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COAST - Community of Arran Seabed Trust · Old Pavilion · Lamlash · Isle of Arran, North Ayrshire KA27 8LS · United Kingdom

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