The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network

            A charity registered in Scotland - RegNo:: SC039015

21
Jan

‘No-take’ zone at Lamlash Bay

Plans to develop a marine conservation area off the isle of Arran, which will help protect thousands of species, are to be unveiled soon.

A “no-take zone” has been agreed which in a small area of Lamlash Bay.

This comes after a thirteen plus year local campaign by members of the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (Coast), who with support from all local fishing interests, have continuously lobbied ministers for the marine reserve.

The whole project has been delayed by opposition from non-local commercial fishing interests and the unwillingness of previous Ministers to put conservation before commercial exploitation.

Coast believes the zone will help protect the local fish and shellfish populations as well as the maerl seaweed beds, which support diverse marine life and believe that if the area is allowed to return to its natural state, fish and lobster will become twice as abundant and the number of species will increase by a third.

During the 70’s and 80’s the famous sea-angling festival in Lamlash Bay resulted in huge catches of up to 5000 fish weighing up to 16,000 lbs (7 tonnes) yet by 1994, the final year of the festival, the catch was below 200 lbs!

Who knows, perhaps the message is starting to get through - The marine environment we leave for the future depends on what we do today.

More on COAST at http://www.arrancoast.co.uk/

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