COAST (Community of Arran Seabed Trust) was the driving force behind the creation of Scotland’s first No Take Zone (NTZ) in 2008 and later, in 2016, the much larger South Arran Marine Protected Area (MPA).
You will find more information about COAST and their activities on the COAST website
Lamlash Bay No Take Zone (NTZ)
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.
Marine life has returned at dramatic levels in this area, with some species increasing by 400% since the zone was established in 2008. This was announced in a recent paper, following a decade worth of research between COAST and the University of York. The NTZ now sites within a 280 sq km MPA, which has shown even more pronounced biodiversity recovery after just 3.5years of protection, with scallop densities over six-fold higher than in baseline studies before the MPA was enforced.
These surveys, the study reports, show the seabed is recovering following damage caused by fishing with trawls and dredges, with the growth of structurally complex ‘nursery habitats’ and key ‘blue carbon habitats’ showing particular recovery, which in turn supports the recovery of commercially important fish species.
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 Marine Scotland Fisheries Compliance Office in Edinburgh; telephone 0131 271 9700 (24 hrs); or email at UKFMC@gov.scot and copy in COAST firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about the marine conservation efforts on Arran, visit COAST’s Marine Visitor Centre – The Octopus Centre – at the south end of Lamlash Green.
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.