COAST February 2017 Newsletter
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Arran's MPA set for success

Local folk love their Marine Protected Area!

When underwater photographer Richard Shucksmith visited us a few months ago he was impressed with Arran's sea life, but even more with local people's knowledge and support of Arran's No Take Zone (NTZ) and Marine Protected Area (MPA):

"Getting ready for a dive on the pier I was approached by a local lady who kindly explained the COAST story to me and that I needed to be aware of the NTZ. I soon realised that the social impact of the NTZ and MPA has been just as important as its natural impact. The local community sees the MPA & NTZ as their own and a great way to promote healthy seas".

Despite the uncertain times ahead for the marine environment, the people of Arran are determined to make a success of their MPA. Our vision is not only about protecting and recovering sea life, it's about seizing the opportunity for a rich and diverse economy by promoting sustainable marine activities and fisheries that improve local well-being, livelihoods and attract visitors to the island. Already, the local community has invested hundreds of hours of volunteer time and over £100K towards creating an MPA HQ and marine hub out of an underused tennis pavilion. The new HQ is due to open later this year.

Local people are making our politicians realise that putting Scotland's coastal communities at the heart of planning and managing for sustainable seas gets you lots of bang for your buck!

Salmon farm 'called in' but not yet out
Most island and coastal communities are pro sustainable aquaculture and in favour of lower impact ventures such as mussel farming for instance. However, many are against unsustainable open cage salmon farms. Communities on Arran, in Argyll and Wester Ross are justifiably angry at the time they're having to spend fighting-off salmon farm proposals in newly created MPAs. COAST calls on the Government to back communities and reject proposals that do not have local support. This should include the Scottish Salmon Company's application to expand its operation in Arran's iconic Lamlash Bay which was 'called in' by the Cabinet Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, in December.
Species of the month: Ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta)
Reaching lengths of up to 50 cm, ballan wrasse are the largest and most common wrasse species in UK waters. But wild stocks are at risk of being over-exploited because of their use as cleaner fish to reduce sea lice levels in salmon fish farms. This Norwegian study shows the need for regulation.
New HQ takes shape
COAST opened the doors of the Old Pavilion in Lamlash to celebrate its new ownership with over 40 representatives from the community and local businesses. Read more about plans and timelines for Scotland's new hub for marine conservation here.
Get in touch if you would like to volunteer or donate towards this exciting project. You can also read more in this month's Voice for Arran.
Activist Isidro Baldenegro murdered
Goldman prize winner Isidro Baldenegro López, who stood up for indigenous rights and the environment against a powerful network of state officials and landowners involved in logging, was shot dead. Our Chair Howard Wood, with other Goldman laureates, has called on the Government of Mexico to conduct an independent investigation into his death. It's less than a year since their fellow laureate Berta Cáceres was murdered.
A plastic ocean? No thank you! Here are 3 ways you can help reduce the amount of plastic going into our seas:
1. Join the winter Nurdle Hunt on the 3rd-5th February. 2. Go back to reusable water bottles and avoid single-use plastics.
3. Support petitions to charge for the use of refundable plastic bottles and the proposed ban on non-recyclable packaging.
Arran's MPA leaflet now available
Ever imagined what a dream dive to Arran's MPA would look like? Download our new MPA leaflet or drop into the office if you would like to help us distribute them on Arran.
New panels for Arran's Coastal Way
One of the best ways to explore our MPA using all 5 of your senses is to follow Arran's Coastal Way. The new panels will show you the route and wildlife to watch out for!
Videos of the month
Breathtaking footage of Richard Shucksmith's encounter with humpback whales in Scottish waters.
For our supporters and visitors from German, here is an introductory video to COAST's work made by one of our youngest volunteers, Lara Clemen.
Fishy fashion
Inspired by Arran's Marine Protected Area sea life, three Arran High School students have created an extraordinary Fish Tail costume with recycled paper. Please vote online for their entry to the Junk Kouture recycled fashion competition.
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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