Congratulations go to Howard Wood for receiving an International award for COAST’s (Community of Arran Seabed Trust) marine restoration campaign.
Howard Wood, chairman and co-founder of COAST has been awarded the highly prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for his work with COAST’s community of marine volunteers promoting sustainable management of Arran’s seas.
It is the first time this international award, the largest prize for grassroots environmentalists worldwide, has come to Scotland and only the second time it has been made to somebody in the UK.
Howard said: “I am delighted with the award. This is global recognition for everything the community of marine volunteers on Arran have been working on for so long.”
South Arran was finally given official protection in July last year by the Scottish Government, following a 13-year campaign led by Mr Wood to establish a region in the Firth of Clyde in 2009 where fishing is banned altogether. During that time a small “No Take Zone” was established at Lamlash Bay which was vehemently opposed by the mobile commercial sector, especially the scallop and prawn fleet.
If an international organisation can recognise the issues, surely the Scottish Government, Marine Scotland’s Inshore Fisheries Group and the civil servants charged with fisheries management should be able to realise it is time to manage marine resources for the benefit of all and not just a select few with heavily vested interests.