COAST Newsletter June 2017
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Do our politicians care about coastal communities and healthy seas?

Time to embrace sustainable alternatives

Little has been said during the election about one of the biggest issues facing coastal communities - the health of the marine environment. Ironically, only Donald Trump has succeeded in putting the environment in the headlines - but only by withdrawing from the Paris Accord on climate change! That is bad enough, but we now need to watch out for the UK Government using Brexit as an opportunity to retract from important EU marine legislation.

In Scotland, under devolved powers, there is an opportunity for political parties to make a strong economic and environmental case for two progressive marine management measures. We urge them now and in the future to support a new three mile limit on dredging and bottom trawling in favour of hand diving and creeling - this will be better for the environment, local communities and Scotland's coffers. Fish farms on the other hand need to use closed-containment systems. Scandinavia is leading the way on both issues. Inshore dredging is largely prohibited and Norway has just announced it will put a stop to open-cage farms. These measures can be implemented and would benefit us all.
     
Alas, at present, none of the main parties are seriously addressing the ongoing degradation of the coastal seabed by scallop dredgers (the loss of Loch Carron flame shell beds being only one example). The Marine Protected Area now declared for parts of Loch Carron show Cab Sec, Roseanna Cunningham is listening as does Cab Sec, Fergus Ewing's announcement to pilot spatial management in some areas. However, we need stronger proactive leadership rather than piecemeal and reactive measures.
     
Again, on fish farms, despite many articles in the Sunday Herald suggesting collusion between SEPA, the Scottish Government and Salmon farmers, there is silence (except from the Greens) about plans to double polluting open-cage salmon production along Scotland's iconic west coast. This includes a planned 62% increase in the capacity of the farm in Arran's beautiful and popular Lamlash Bay, which the local community has demanded the Government refuse.
     
Scotland's seas and coastal communities could be healthier and more prosperous with the right support from politicians and Marine Scotland. Let's show the lead and demonstrate Scotland has a real vision for its environment and citizens.

Top photo: Howard Wood/COAST

Arran youth launch blog on Oceans Day
Help our young people launch their Wild Arran Coast blog - which will go live tomorrow. We'll be celebrating World Oceans Day by sharing their great short videos, photos, interviews and articles about their favourite marine activities and sea life in Arran's Marine Protected Area. To do this go to our Facebook and Twitter pages on Thursday the 8th of June, and start sharing with friends and family!
In the meantime, Fair Isle Primary School children have been learning about what their MPA means and the kind of impact it could have for the isle. They researched marine animals that have their own Fair Isle names! Read more here.
What price will you pay for shellfish?
Open Seas are a Scottish charity promoting sustainable fish and shellfish harvesting and alternatives to damaging practices such as scallop dredging.
The Open Seas team is already making a difference publishing great articles on Loch Carron and producing insightful infographics. Visit their website to find out more!
Species of the Month - Hyrdoid medusae
Our coastal waters are currently teeming with jelly-like creatures. Known as Hydroid medusae, these jelly forms are a life-stage of bottom-living plant-like organisms. If you peer into Arran's seas, you may find medusae of Aequorea forskalea, Staurophora mertensii (the "whitecross jellyfish") and Neoturris pileata (pictured). 

 
Loch Carron flame shell petition
Please join COAST in signing the Loch Carron diver & local community petition to STOP scallop dredgers and bottom trawlers destroying vulnerable Scottish seabed habitats.
Here is some footage of before and after the dredging took place. 
Happy builders renovate marine hub
We've been impressed with progress made by Peter's team over the last few weeks. We'll be organising a volunteer work party soon to complete the first phase of Arran's new marine hub which will include exhibition, community and office space. 
Active play in our MPA!
Local groups are making it easier than ever for residents and visitors to explore Arran's MPA. Snorkellers, kayakers, rowers, triathletes, open swimmers, cyclists and mountain climbers are really making the most of our beautiful coasts and Lamlash Bay. Have a look at our friend's and team's recent shots, from elegant hydroids to spider crab armies, we can't keep away from our waters and shores!
York crustacean and sea grass research 
COAST's highly productive association with York and Scottish universities continues this summer with York crustacean and seagrass bed surveys. Previous York research has shown the success of the NTZ in dramatically increasing seabed biodiversity, with larger and more fecund lobsters and scallops also found in the zone. Glasgow Uni research has shown the links between Arran inshore habitats and fish nursery grounds.
It's going to be a wild summer
COAST has an exciting and busy summer lined up. From shore scrambles and beach cleans to wild-themed workshops, check out our summer events and get in touch if you would like to volunteer with us.
Andrew's farewell
Dear All,
After six years in post and 36 COAST newsletters, I would like to personally thank our readers for their commitment and support before I move on at the end of this month (I'll be staying on Arran and still campaigning on marine issues). Your enthusiasm has been a great inspiration to me and the COAST team, helped us secure the South Arran MPA and a shore-side site for our forthcoming Marine Discovery Centre. We will be announcing my successor very soon. Watch this space..! Bye for now, Andrew Binnie, Executive Director
 
Copyright ©2017 COAST - Community of Arran Seabed Trust, All rights reserved.
Please send any comments or suggestions to email@arrancoast.com


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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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