Argyll Coast and Islands Hope Spot

Sound of Jura aerial view © John Aitchison

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

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.

Mission Blue Hope Spot

Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart. Hope Spots 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 him or her—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.  

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

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