Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST)

Cover image © COAST

The Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) is a community-led organisation that is recognised worldwide as one of the UK’s leading community marine conservation organisations.  They were responsible for the establishment of Scotland’s first No Take Zone in Lamlash Bay and are now working towards effective management of the South Arran Marine Protected Area (MPA).

In 1995, two Arran divers (Howard Wood and Don MacNeish) set up the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) with the aim of reversing the decline in Arran’s marine habitats. The decline had largely been caused by the 1984 removal of the ban on bottom trawling and scallop dredging within three miles of the UK coast. The decimation of the fish stocks had an evident impact on Arran’s community – its last international sea-angling festival was held in 1994 and saw catches down by 96%.

Today, COAST is recognised worldwide as one of the UK’s leading community marine conservation organisations, enjoying widespread support on Arran and beyond. COAST promotes sustainable marine management, delivers education programmes and maintains strong links with universities to ensure independent scientific research. Over the past 20 years, COAST’s people have achieved important changes for marine protection and restoration, including establishment and ongoing management of Scotland’s only No Take Zone designated as a Community Marine Reserve in 2008, working with Fauna and Flora International to establish the Coastal Communities Network, and opening Scotland’s first MPA visitor centre, the Octopus Centre, in 2018.

Visit the COAST website

Improve the local marine environment for the benefit of everyone.

Help sustain the livelihood of those dependent on fishing and tourism.

Increase the popularity of the area as a diving site and tourist destination.

Educate future generations on the need for marine conservation.

COAST are working towards effective management of the South Arran Marine Protected Area (MPA).