Tuesday, 26 October 2010

COAST symposium on the Isle of Arran

I’ve just returned from the Isle of Arran where COAST (Community Of Arran Seabed Trust) hosted a conference entitled ‘Empowering Coastal Community Stakeholders’. The event was attended by academics, community groups, NGOs and government bodies working at the forefront of marine conservation in the UK and abroad. The aim of the meeting was to make connections between interest groups focussing in marine environmental protection and sustainable marine exploitation.

The conference was unanimous in support for protecting various aspects of marine interests from a multitude of different directions; this inspiring feeling is gaining momentum, and several key personnel from Scottish Natural Heritage and Marine Scotland were present. There were also various dignitaries including an MSP and an MP. My personal highlight of the weekend was a presentation by Callum Roberts from the University of York about the historical context of stock decline in the Firth of Clyde which generated a good debate amongst attendees.

It is hoped that the VMR will play an active role in future debates between coastal stakeholder groups and form positive links with other organisations. For more information about the event and COAST, please visit their website

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