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Scotland's First NTZ

Sep 22,2008 SACN


Scotland gets its first ‘No-Take Zone’

A new dawn has broken over the troubled waters around the Island of Arran on Saturday; it brought new hope to the islands community for a better future of their marine heritage and environment.

The Scottish Government has created Scotland’s first ‘No-Take Zone’ in Lamlash Bay on the Isle of Arran. All fishing within the specified area will be banned while a scientific trial will be carried out to investigate the fishery and bio-diversity benefits of leaving the seabed to regenerate naturally without any disturbance.

The passing of the law was the final keystone of the bridge the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) has spent 13 years building between Islanders, fishermen, SNH, The Marine Directorate, Politicians and the Government.

The Community of Arran Seabed Trust was formed to try and redress the dramatic collapse of marine life around the islands shores and in the Firth of Clyde. Using positive examples from around the world, including The Isle of Man, Lundy Island and New Zealand, they choose the No-Take Zone and natural regeneration. The project’s significance increased when the commercial fishermen of the area added their support to the scheme.

The underwater scientific baseline survey starts next month and with constant monitoring, the results will hopefully inform the management of Scotland’s seas in the future. The scheme is unique in Scotland as it combines all the forces of the local stakeholders involved including conservationists and fishermen.

It is hoped it may be used as a template where a similar situation is involved.

Now that all the talking, arguing, discussing, campaigning, press coverage and celebrating is over the beautiful waters of Lamlash Bay now can return to the sounds of silence.


Results of the Government consultation on the NTZ


Academic comment:

The COAST project has been assisted by SACN Executive member Tom Appleby of the University of Bristol Law School, who helped with the complex legal issues, which were raised during the process

COAST has also been supported by Professor Callum Roberts of the Univeristy of York, one of the world’s leading experts on marine conservation, a consultant to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and author of the influential work "The Unnatural History of the Sea"

"Seasearch evidence gathered by COAST divers helped provide the underpinning evidence for their proposals for Lamlash Bay."

Seasearch is a volunteer underwater survey project for recreational divers in the UK to record observations of marine habitats and the life they support.

Seasearch is co-ordinated by the Marine Conservation Society.

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