COAST December 2015 Newsletter
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Prawn trawl lobby tries to undermine Scottish Government MPAs

Coastal communities bombarded with scare stories and spin

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are designed to protect marine species and habitats (many of which are also fish nursery grounds), while at the same time allowing nearly all of the marine activities which already occur in these areas to continue. They are not No Take Zones. The Arran MPA will still allow bottom trawling in 36% of the area and in 51% of the Upper Loch Fyne MPA for instance. MPAs will encourage well-managed creeling and trawling, scallop diving, wildlife tourism and eventually, if managed effectively, a return of sea angling - all activities which used to support a far greater diversity and number of jobs around the Clyde than exist now.

Howard Wood, COAST Chair and a Clyde diver with 40 years experience, puts it this way: 'The Clyde belongs to us all and must be managed in the public interest, as Marine Scotland is attempting to do. The South Arran MPA trawling restrictions on priority habitats such as seagrass meadows, burrowed mud and maerl beds equal less than 5% of Clyde waters. Big compromises have been made by the Government and communities like COAST, yet incredibly the mobile fishing lobby continues to make alarmist and unsubstantiated claims that these modest MPAs will 'decimate' communities. Ironically, it was bottom trawling which our predecessors (mainly fishermen) fought hard to get banned in the 1890s - to preserve the viability of fishing communities! They were wise. Since bans on bottom trawling in the Clyde were lifted in the 1960s and 80s our white fish stocks have declined to the point of being commercially unviable and sea anglers now go to Norway instead of the Clyde. Poor leadership and a lack of management has cost the Clyde hundreds of jobs and deprived Scotland of an affordable food source. MPAs can play an important part in redressing this situation and Marine Scotland needs our continued support as they finalise management for the entire MPA network'.

Nicola Sturgeon, who's Government must be congratulated on progressing a well-balanced MPA network for Scotland, said at the World Forum on Natural Capital held last month: 'Economic growth cannot be sustained if it comes at a continuing and unsustainable cost to our natural resources...We should not reduce natural capital for our own temporary benefit, at the expense of future generations'.

How disappointing then that the well-healed mobile prawn lobby is doing everything in its power to undermine the Scottish Government's proposals for effective MPA management and is prepared to mislead coastal communities with scaremongering to achieve its ends. Please contact
your MSP to let them know Scotland's 30 designated MPAs need immediate and effective management. 

COAST delivers in MPA livery!

While campaigning for effective management of the Arran MPA, COAST has been busy learning from other stakeholders and delivering educational experiences for young people living or visiting Arran including:
-Working with three High School students on a field study on coastal invasive species. Read more here
-Engaging young students out in the Marine Mobile (above) and visiting the Arran Outdoor Education Centre with our weekly talks
-Exploring the marine environment with school children from Shiskine Primary
-Sharing information about the South Arran MPA on CalMac ferries
-Showing Southend school around the NTZ and MPA
-Talking at Heriot-Watt University and taking part in the MASTs conference, Clyde2020 meeting, Celtic Seas workshop, North Ayrshire meetings and the Inshore Fisheries Conference.

Species of the month: gannets

The waters around Arran are home to 40,000 breeding pairs of Britain’s largest seabird: the gannet. With a wingspan of up to 2m, these birds can dive at top speeds of 62mph into Arran's waters to catch their prey. Look out for these magnificent birds who escape our cold winters by migrating as far South as Sierra Leone and Senegal. Find out more on the RSPB website.

Coastal Voices: an Arran fisherman's life

Lynn Ross, an experienced weaver, interviewed Arran herring fisherman Lawrence McBride (born in 1899). This fascinating transcript helps us discover what fishing used to be like and how fishermen worked with nature until technology brought in motors and war broke out. Read the full story here
Lynn has named her McBride Gansey pattern after Lawrence and she is happy to share it free of charge.

MPAs - an opportunity for change!
Kerri Whiteside blogs on our coastal communities' desire for better, more equitable marine management. 

MPA selfie competition

COAST has organised an MPA selfie competition to get Arran’s young residents and visitors busy in or nearby the South Arran MPA. Young people from 13 to 25 years of age are being encouraged to explore and enjoy Arran’s coastal and marine wildlife, resources and landscapes in a sustainable way. Find out how to enter the competition and post your photo on our Facebook page.

COAST goodies for Christmas

Stuck for stocking fillers? Check out our new merchandise... caps, beanies, magnets, badges, coasters and much more. Visit our stall at the Whiting Bay Christmas Market, pop along to the office, or stay snuggled up in front of the fire and shop online here. Nb. Andy Telford above, now in Mongolia.

MPA story & colouring book

"Kirsty, Jamie and the Pipefish Man" was launched yesterday. This COAST story and colouring book by Cicely Gill and Lesley Van Bogerijen will delight children and adults, taking them on a magical journey to discover the South Arran MPA. This is a limited edition so get in touch if you would like one! Read our interview with the author and illustrator.

Dr Bill Ballantine remembered

Bill was a far sighted marine campaigner, considered the father of marine protection in New Zealand and an inspiration, friend and adviser to COAST and many others. Photo shows Bill with COAST Chair, Howard Wood on Arran. Read the Goldman's Prize tribute to him here


This month's videos

Don't miss the latest episodes of The Hunt, showing underwater footage by COAST Ambassador, Doug Anderson.
Did you see South Arran MPA showcased in beautiful weather on BBC Landward
COAST Chair Howard Wood featured in a new documentary: "The New Environmentalists - From Myanmar to Scotland" narrated by Robert Redford. 
Copyright ©2015 COAST - Community of Arran Seabed Trust, All rights reserved.
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