August 2015 Newsletter
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Scotland's coastal communities deserve ambition, not scare stories
Time for vision and long term planning

The Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Richard Lochhead, has a public duty to be 'ambitious' for Scotland's coastal communities and marine environment. Yet interests promoting the controversial practices of scallop dredging and bottom trawling are attacking him for using this word in relation to what are actually very modest Marine Protected Area (MPA) management proposals. The Government's proposals will only effect 1.6% of scallop dredging gross turnover and 1.3% of bottom trawling, and even this assumes the vessels wont simply fish elsewhere (the mobile sector has emphasized repeatedly that this will happen as an argument against MPAs - so they can't have it both ways). In addition, many MPAs including the South Arran MPA will still allow some dredging or bottom trawling to continue (36% of the  South Arran MPA will still be available to bottom trawlers). Despite this, an often hysterical sounding mobile sector is scaremongering coastal communities by declaring the MPA network will end life as we know it on the West coast. Let's be clear, it will not. While Lochhead's measures may well be 'ambitious' in the face of this blinkered opposition, they can only be accurately described as 'modest' by any reasonable standards.

Rather than undermining Scotland's hard won MPA network with emotive language would it not be better to celebrate its creation, seize the opportunity it presents for coastal communities and do all  we can to make them a success for our environment, our people and for Scotland's economy? By protecting our marine life, managing fishing sensibly and limiting the use of destructive gear we all stand to benefit, not least fishermen from all sectors. This is not a question of conservation versus jobs. The Clyde when it was healthy and productive supported many more commercial fishing jobs than it does now (it is estimated there has been a 70%+ decline in jobs since the 50s). We have also lost hundreds of jobs once supported by recreational sea angling in the Firth of Clyde. COAST Executive Director, Andrew Binnie comments: 'It is over fishing and weak management that has caused job losses, not conservation and restoration measures. MPAs will not solve everything but they are a positive step forwards and great opportunity for coastal communities. COAST urges everyone to make sure their elected representatives give MPAs their full support.
Stakeholders, including COAST, make their case in a recent BBC 2 Scotland 2015 piece (I player until 28th Aug):  BBC Scotland 2015
 
Howard Wood Receives OBE 
Following Howard's Goldman Environmental Prize Award in April we are delighted to say he has now received an OBE for services to COAST and Arran's marine environment. Well done mate!
Click Here to read the Voice for Arran article
COAST also won a 2014 Nature of Scotland Award for Marine Conservation.
 
World News: NYT, Geo and We Demain articles
The New York Times, Geo, and We Demain (not to mention the Arran Banner!) have all published articles recently on our Chair Howard wood and the COAST project. Media coverage of the NTZ & South Arran MPA helps profile Arran, the Clyde and Scotland.
COAST Out and About!
Phenomenal Fun this summer! COAST has had two joint events with Arran Rangers Service, attended the Lamlash Heather Queen, Arran Farmers Show, Brodick Highland games, had lots of beach scrambles and a Craft & Puppet Show day.
Thank you to everyone who has come along to show support for COAST and big thank you to all our volunteers. Make sure to check out the COAST website  and facebook page for all the latest updates on our events. 

Marine Machine on the Move
Watch out for COAST's Marine Machine at summer events schools this Autumn, pictured above. Funded by Arran Trust and North Ayrshire Council.
 
Marine Task Force Sea Sense
Seabed Sense: crucial support for inshore MPA's
Departures and Arrivals
As Andy Telford prepares to leave Arran to travel the world as our roving marine ambassador, Manuela de los Rios lands on Arran with her partner and three young children to become our new Communications and Administration Officer. Andy has done a fantastic job for us over the last two years, handling accounts, IT, events and schools outreach plus much more. We wish him every success in his adventures! Arriving today, Manuela will bring a wealth of marine communications and community outreach experience to COAST. She is a qualified science and environmental educator with an MSc in coastal management and has worked for CoastNet, Cadiz University and a range of community initiatives in the UK and Spain. Please join us in saying farewell to Andy and in welcoming Manuela and her family!
Fishing by numbers
- Creelers represent at least 75% of inshore fishermen (Marine Scotland).
- 'Traditional' Newhaven scallop dredge, invented in 1975.
-  87% of fish in the Clyde are Whiting, 97% are small, first year class (Heath and Speirs). 
Biggest lobster yet!
In further proof of the NTZs recovery, York University MSc student, Brian Christie and local creeler Iain Cusick hauled up this beast during crustacean surveys this month (carapace length 135mm).
This Month's Videos
COAST's Summer Shorts. A lively collection of short videos that look at Arran's MPA and community.

A short History of Scotland's Seas New animation from Save Scottish Seas

BBC Scotland 2015 Looks at the issues surrounding Scotland's MPAs featuring interview with COAST's Andrew Binnie and underwater footage from Howard Wood.
Clyde scientists highlight fishing pressures
COAST has hosted five MSc research projects this summer as well as carrying out MPA baseline and seagrass surveys at former mooring sites. Meanwhile two peer reviewed papers in international journals from Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities respectively, show fishing pressures continue to adversely impact Clyde fisheries. See below.

Clark et al in ICES Journal of Marine Science
Closure of Clyde spawning ground ‘too little, too late’ to help floundering cod stocks
Hunter et al in Fisheries Research
Fishery-induced changes to age and length dependent maturation
schedules of three demersal fish species in the Firth of Clyde
MCO response and Avaaz petition
Many thanks to the over 1100 people who signed our Avaaz petition in support of an end to dredging in MPAs. These signatures were delivered to Marine Scotland as part of our response to the marine conservation order (MCO) for the South Arran MPA. COAST supports the exclusion of dredgers but will continue to campaign for the removal of bottom trawlers in the outer zones. We also support well-managed creeling in the MPA apart from on maerl and seagrass beds.  
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