Marine Protected Areas can be a reinvigorating force, says C.O.A.S.T.

The Community of Arran Seabed Trust (C.O.A.S.T.) reports 1st February 2017: 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!

 

Source: C.O.A.S.T. News release, 1st February 2017.
 


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