Argyll Coast and Islands Hope Spot

Argyll Coast and Islands Hope Spot
Loch Teacuis, the Argyll Coast and Islands Hope Spot © Rowan Aitchison

CCN member groups in Argyll have come together to collaboratively achieve the designation of the first Mission Blue Hope Spot within Scotland and mainland UK: the Argyll Coast and Islands Hope Spot.

Visit the Argyll Coast & Islands Hope Spot’s dedicated website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Situated around an exceptionally beautiful stretch of Scotland’s west coast, the Hope Spot champions are coastal community groups, who care passionately about their spectacular local marine environment. They believe that the international recognition of a Hope Spot will enhance the local conservation designations on their doorsteps; shining a spotlight on how critical they are for preserving the special marine wildlife and habitats.

The Hope Spot covers a number of protected areas, including the Loch Sunart to Sound of Jura MPA, Firth of Lorn SAC and Loch Sunart MPA & SAC, and provides a new way to celebrate and champion these special places. It is one of the most biologically diverse marine environments in Scotland and the UK, and this new Hope Spot joins an impressive and growing list of Hope Spots around the world.

Following Mission Blue’s press release, the Argyll Coast and Islands Hope Spot was officially launched on 8 June 2019, on World Oceans Day. The launch was preceded by a series of local events and an official reception for MSPs at the Scottish Parliament.

Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue, says:

“The Argyll Coast is a place of great beauty but also of great importance. It’s home to not only great people, with a love and appreciation for the sea, but of such a wonderful mix of creatures, from marine mammals; the dolphins, whales and seals to otters and birds. And of course, what’s under the surface, like the flapper skate, which is more endangered than the giant panda. Thank you for doing what you’re doing to ensure a healthy future for the Argyll Coast and for the rest of the world’s oceans. Congratulations on the first Hope Spot in Scotland and mainland United Kingdom!”

Throughout history, coastal communities have been at the forefront of adaption and innovation. The community groups that have come together and immersed themselves in the conservation of the west coast of Scotland’s marine ecosystems are proof that we can make a difference in local communities, which create ripples across the world. Taking care of the local marine environment will ensure the sustainable future of the ocean, and the right framework is in place to make it happen– we just have to take the plunge.

Mission Blue Hope Spot

Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart. They are about recognizing, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean. Dr. Sylvia Earle introduced the concept in her 2009 TED talk and since then the idea has inspired millions across the planet.

The idea is that anyone can nominate a site special to them—a site that gives HOPE. Collectively all of these Hope Spots will create a global wave of community support for ocean conservation that leaders and policy makers can’t ignore.

Why is the Hope Spot special?

The Hope Spot is home to nationally important populations of marine species like the critically endangered flapper skate, harbour porpoise, European otter and harbour seals.  It is also a critical habitat for many Priority Marine Features (PMFs) including serpulid worms, rocky reefs, maerl beds, northern featherstars and flame shell beds. 

The area provides vital breeding grounds for flapper skate and other species and is a key migration route for Atlantic salmon, returning to the rivers where they were born to spawn.  It is also breathtakingly beautiful, hosting many tourists who travel here to absorb the unique nature and culture, and home to coastal communities of varying sizes.  

Argyll Hope Spot Map
Map of the Argyll Coast and Islands Hope Spot © John Aitchison

The Argyll Coast and Islands Hope Spot Team is a collaboration of: