Community-driven marine management

The Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) is a community organisation in the Isle of Arran, west Scotland. It is one of the few examples in the UK of community-driven marine management.

‘The core concept underlying everything COAST does is that when marine life thrives so will the coastal communities which depend upon the sea for their livelihoods. It is therefore in everyone’s interests to ensure we manage our seas and fisheries effectively for our own generation and generations to come ‘ (Andrew Binnie, Executive Director, COAST)

The Lamlash Bay No Take Zone is recovering well with larger lobsters and significantly more scallop spat recorded in the zone. This is expected to have a positive effect on the surrounding waters, benefiting scallop divers and creelers that work within the newly created South Arran MPA. All this positive change also attracts a lot of scientific and media interest, generating many tens of thousands of pounds for the local economy in direct spend and free advertising.

COAST’s strength is that it involves different people in the community. It has given local people greater ownership of how their local area is managed and developed. And it works together with other interest groups at a national and international level.

‘The need to restore marine habitats and properly manage these ecosystems for the benefit of society and the economy is not unique to The Clyde. What is really exciting is that other groups across the country are waking up to the huge potential of our marine environment.’

‘We are excited to be working with the New Economics Foundation to make the Blue New Deal a reality. There’s much more we can do to build on our success in Arran, and we want to see many other communities around the UK’s coast leading on marine management in their areas and thriving once again.’ (Andrew Binnie)

Photo: COAST Arran for NEF