About the Network

Scotland’s seas are home to a wealth of wildlife, but face serious threats from destructive fishing practices, open-net salmon aquaculture, and other human activities. Coastal communities have long born the brunt of the results of the mismanagement of Scotland’s seas, yet their voices often remain unheard in management decisions.

In 2014, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) partnered with local organisation COAST to develop support for coastal communities in Scotland and bring together a network of community-led voices for marine protection. What emerged became the Coastal Communities Network – 24 community-based organisations united by a desire for more action to be taken to protect and restore Scotland’s marine life.

FFI supports individual members of CCN to establish their own operations and governance, raise their own funds, and develop their own initiatives. Together groups engage on a range of issues, including salmon farming, marine plastic pollution, and marine habitat restoration.

Explore our interactive map to find out about each of the CCN members.

Follow CCN’s journey from its emergence to present day with notable successes along the way.


CCN’s beginnings

Working in partnership with COAST, FFI identify a number of community groups who want to take action to protect their local marine environment, but are constrained by a lack of resources.


First coastal communities gathering

First coastal communities gathering at Gartmore offers a platform for groups to share their history and aspirations for the future.


The Network launches

A network of community leaders becomes the Coastal Communities Network, with 8 founding member groups.


Community-led Marine Monitoring

The joint CCN, FFI and NatureScot Community-led Marine Bioidversity Monitoring initiative launches. It aims to increase community involvement in marine data collection and monitoring


Second coastal communities gathering

Building on the success of the first coastal communities gathering, the second gathering takes place at Gartmore. CCN now has 12 members.


UK’s first Hope Spot

The UK’s first Hope Spot was declared around the Argyll Coast and Islands on World Ocean’s Day, 8 June 2019. The Argyll Coast & Islands Hope Spot was the direct result of the efforts of four CCN groups.


Third coastal communities gathering

Following a delay in 2020, the third coastal communities gathering takes place at Gartmore, where the future of CCN is discussed.


Hiring of a CCN Coordinator

An outcome of the previous coastal communities gathering was for FFI to provide full-time support to help CCN grow and realise its ambitions. Alan Munro is brought on as the Coordinator in February. As of January 2023, CCN has 24 members, with greater east coast representation than previously.

Find out more about CCN members and Friends of CCN.