COAST Newsletter - December 2016
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Community flotilla against farm expansion

Value of Islands and Community Empowerment Acts questioned

Last week Arran residents set sail to oppose the expansion of the St Molios fish farm. Despite freezing weather, over 50 people gathered on the beach in Lamlash and boarded a flotilla of craft including kayaks, RIBs and the Clyde Marine Mammal Project yacht. The event was reported in the Scotsman as well as widely on social media.

As open cage salmon farmers continue to call the shots on the exploitation of our iconic West Coast (with the Scottish Government apparently providing the rubber stamp), COAST's Andrew Binnie asks, 'What is the point of community supported Marine Protected Areas, the Government's Community Empowerment and proposed Islands Acts if the locals are ignored at the first sign of short-term financial gain? People on Arran and in many other West coast communities want to be at the heart of long-term sustainable and imaginative development. Unsolicited fish farm applications are a distraction. These farms are undermining community aspirations for revived and healthy seas that support a more resilient marine economy'.

COAST Chair, Howard Wood OBE and winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize, said 'The Government has made good progress towards establishing an MPA network but seems unable to see the wider value of MPAs for the Scottish economy. Where is their vision for this emerging network? We are proud of the South Arran MPA and already developing MPA visitor facilities but we need commitment from the Government to make our MPA successful. As a first step we are asking the Cabinet Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, to 'call in' and reject the St Molios fish farm application'.

At the time of going to press COAST was seeking legal advice on its options and talking to other coastal communities facing the same issues. Read the Scotsman article.
Lobsters thriving!
Research by Leigh Howarth, Bryce Stewart and others in collaboration with COAST, has revealed that lobsters are thriving in Lamlash Bay No Take Zone.
According to Leigh "our research has shown that a wide range of species and habitats can benefit from protection.” 
Watch Bryce explain these results in a short video from the MASTS conference at the "Science in the Clyde" session.
Videos of the Month
Can you find  two tiny octopuses captured on video by Howard last week in Arran's MPA? The smallest is the size of a 50p coin!

Looking back a few years to...The Bay, a film produced by COAST Ambassador, Doug Anderson, that captures some of the unspoiled beauty under Arran's waters. 
Marine News update
At the annual Marine Conservation Society conference, Howard Wood discussed the future of marine management and MPAs. We were happy to hear Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham announce the designation of Fair Isle as Scotland's first Demonstration and Research MPA.
The Celtic Knot "was tied" at the final Celtic Seas project meeting in Dublin. Partners shared many lessons to improve collaboration, sharing of resources and enabling regulation to improve marine management in Europe.
For regular marine and community news sign up to Voice for Arran,  Clyde Marine Planning Partnership, Scottish Communities Alliance and CMS Marine and Coastal News newsletters.
Photo ©Dave Wheeler
COAST gifts
With Christmas just around the corner, grab those final goodies for any ocean lover on our website (order by 16th Dec for delivery by Xmas). Thank you to Arran Active and The Harbour Shop for stocking our merchandise this year, and to everyone else who has supported us. To make a donation to COAST click here.
Seafood special: Creelers of Arran
Find out how Tim and Fran's love for seafood took them on a journey for life. This interview pays tribute to Creelers of Arran's story and success in making seafood more accessible. If you fancy seafood this Christmas check out the MCS Good Fish Guide for choices that are good for your health and for our seas! 
Sightings and surveys
Thrilled to see the extent of porpoise activity around the MPA, mapped by Clyde Marine Mammal Project. Our community has been busy reporting MPA sightings of marine wildlife.
Species of the month
Wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) grow up to 150cm and can weigh over 39kg! Their distinct torpedo-shaped body varies in colour, from silvery and spotty at sea, to mottled brown and dark spotted in freshwater. Watching the "salmon run" is a tourist must-do in Scotland, but sadly our wild stocks are declining and listed as a threatened species. Read more here.
Young & wild
- new student blog

Putting into practice what we learnt at the European Marine Education Association conference in Belfast, we have started a new project with four volunteer students from Arran High School and IT teacher Mrs Dunn and her S3 students. They are helping us create new exciting content for a blog that will appeal to younger audiences. It will be launched in the New Year. 
Big blue opportunities for communities
How can coastal communities turn back to the sea as a source of prosperity? Read all about the New Economic Foundation's Blue New Deal Action Plan launched at Westminster last week. COAST's Andrew Binnie and MP Patricia Gibson presented Arran's experience as one of the four case studies invited from across the UK.
Paying for plastic
Encouraging results from the MCS Great British Beach Clean were reported at the Marine Litter Symposium held in FSC Millport, organised with the CMPP. Around British shores, only half the number of plastic bags were found on beaches this year thanks to the new 5p charge.
It was a great opportunity to catch up with the Arran Coastal Way and the Great Nurdle Hunt, and to learn about creative projects such as Littoral Art.
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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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