Arran MPA supporting coastal economy

coastWith Cab. Sec., Richard Lochhead’s welcome announcement that destructive scallop dredging will end in the South Arran Marine Protected Area and that bottom trawling is to be limited to outer areas of the MPA, COAST is now taking steps to ensure the island is well-placed to realise the full economic and cultural potential of a recovering marine environment.

Executive Director, Andrew Binnie says ‘COAST is delighted to announce that we are actively looking for a site or building that we can develop as a community-scaled marine interpretation centre for Arran. Arran has become a hub for marine scientists studying the impact of the Lamlash Bay No Take Zone which also draws thousands of visitors each year. The recently created MPA is already generating considerable public interest and there is now real potential to further develop Arran as a destination for marine-based activities including sustainable fishing, research, sea angling, yachting and marine wildlife tourism.’

Howard Wood, COAST Chair and winner of the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize for Europe, says ‘Like other coastal communities around Scotland we are being asked to accept a compromise on the reduction of bottom active fishing methods within the MPA. While we will continue to argue for a complete stop to these damaging activities within the whole MPA (and  support a ban in upper Loch Fyne MPA) we are willing to support the measures put before parliament by Richard Lochhead in so far as these go towards achieving our objectives. The MPA network is not perfect but it is a significant step forward which we hope all marine stakeholders will embrace for the sake of future generations.’

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