Lamlash Bay success shows huge potential for no-take zones
The world leading success of a marine healing no-take zone at Lamlash Bay in Arran shows the huge potential of rolling out similar protections for other Scottish coastal communities.
Ariane Burgess MSP saw the positive impact in fish stocks and nature replenishing during a visit to the site on Friday, where she hailed it as an underwater triumph for locals and nature over adversity.
Scotland has an opportunity to bring in similar no take zones under the banner of highly protected marine areas, with the Scottish Government aiming to designate 10% of Scottish waters to encourage similar success.
Ms Burgess, the party’s coastal communities spokesperson, said: “It was a truly incredible experience to visit the Lamlash Bay no-take zone last week, to witness for myself the extraordinary success the community has had there.
“What I saw was an underwater triumph, with clearer and healthier waters, a thriving ecosystem and the return of nature. It shows what’s possible in a short period of time and the positive impact that no-take zones can have on our communities.
“It’s not just in Arran, there are successful no-take zones in place all over the world. They are not about putting an end to fishing. Instead, they are about protecting a small number of specific areas to allow our fish stocks to recover.
“Fishing communities can and must be at the heart of decision making, like they have been in Lamlash Bay. That is how we can ensure that we have a sustainable fishing sector for decades to come.
“I was delighted to make the trip, because the future I want for our coastal communities is one with thriving harbours full of busy fishers and local businesses and an end to the long term depopulation we have seen across far too much of our country.
“Arran’s no-take zone at Lamlash Bay is an exemplary environmental showpiece of that in action, and a model that I’m sure others would want to embrace.”
Bringing in new protections is a key part of the Bute House Agreement between the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Government, and it follows similar plans that have been agreed by the European Union.
It has already conducted the first consultation on the policy, an analysis of the responses will be published in the months ahead.
Ms Burgess was on Arran for the launch of the RV COAST Explorer caramaran vessel which will be used to minitor and study the marine habitats for Community Of Arran Seabed Trust.