COAST (Community of Arran Seabed Trust) is recognised worldwide as one the UK’s leading community marine conservation organisations. In conjunction with the residents of Lamlash, they were responsible for the establishment of Scotland’s first No Take Zone in Lamlash Bay.
They are a community organisation working for the protection and restoration of the marine environment around Arran and the Clyde.
- improve the local marine environment for the benefit of everyone
- help sustain the livelihood of those dependent on fishing and tourism
- increase the popularity of the area as a diving site and tourist destination
- educate future generations on the need for marine conservation.
You will find more information about COAST and their activities on the COAST website
Lamlash Bay No Take Zone (NTZ)
COAST was the driving force behind the creation of Scotland’s first No Take Zone (NTZ) in 2008.
What is a No Take Zone?
A NTZ is an area of sea and seabed from which no marine life can be removed by any method. Scientific evidence has shown that NTZs are one of the most effective ways to ensure marine regeneration.
The Scottish NTZ is approximately a one square mile area at the north end of Lamlash Bay on the isle of Arran set up to protect Maerl beds and to promote natural regeneration of all marine life. Following 13 years of campaigning by COAST, it was designated by the Scottish Government on 20 September 2008.
In 2013, COAST and the community of Arran and the Clyde celebrated five years of the NTZ being in place. Surveys taken show that after five years, the seabed is now 40 per cent more complex and healthier than the area outside the NTZ. There are higher densities of scallops, crabs and lobsters, both older and larger, being recorded and increased numbers of juvenile cod and haddock.
The NTZ has benefited the local economy by attracting visitors and divers to Arran. In time, commercial fishermen will gain with bigger and better catches in the neighbouring overspill areas.
Everyone has a responsibility to protect the NTZ from fishing activities!
If you see any fishing activity taking place within the zone, please call SFPA on 0845 270 3990 or report online here.
See what lies beneath the waves around Arran
If you are interested in the much varied array of sealife in Arran’s coastal waters, Gus Robson’s website Arran Sealife with its fantastic underwater photography is a must. Gus shows with his photos that the so often cold, grey surface belies the fact of the vibrant, colourful inhabitants below… Have fun and thanks for taking an interest in Scotland’s marine life.