Lamlash Bay success perfect example of marine protection
The Scottish Greens have welcomed the First Minister's agreement over Arran’s world leading no take zone being ‘the perfect example’ of marine protection as it looks to save Scotland’s underwater habitats from harm.
West Scotland MSP Ross Greer and the party’s coastal communities spokesperson Ariane Burgess MSP visited Lamlash Bay for the launch of the RV COAST Explorer research catamaran on Friday.
The vessel was part funded with £200k from the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund to be used for studying the marine habitat and continuing the success of the no take zone which has helped habitats heal.
During First Minister’s Questions, Mr Greer asked Humza Yousaf how the sustained success of the Lamlash Bay NTZ would be taken on board in progressing plans for highly protected marine areas elsewhere.
Mr Greer said: “I had the privilege of attending the launch of RV COAST Explorer at Lamlash Bay, a vessel partly funded by the Nature Restoration Fund established by the Scottish Greens.
“Lamlash Bay No Take Zone – which was demanded and delivered by the local community - is an astounding success and brilliant example of highly protected marine areas in action.
“It has seen a huge recovery in the marine environment, is great for nature and marine tourism as well as providing a very welcome boost for the local fishing industry by reinvigorating fish stocks.
“Species like scallops and lobster in adjacent waters are now bigger and more plentiful. So, can I ask the First Minister how the sustained success of Lamlash Bay no take zone will be taken on board in progressing HPMAs elsewhere.”
The First Minister said £430,000 from the Scottish Greens' Nature Restoration Fund had been allocated to projects on Arran, including to the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) for their work in Lamlash Bay which he described as “the perfect example” of marine protection.
Ariane Burgess MSP, the party’s spokesperson for coastal communities, said afterwards “Those comments from the First Minister about Lamlash Bay being the perfect example could not be more true.
“Myself and Ross Greer saw for ourselves the positive impacts on habits and the local community, with funding towards the RV Coast Explorer from the Nature Restoration Fund showing just how positive collaboration can be.
"It is a beacon of hope for marine conservation, coastal communities and future generations.”