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Isle of Arran

The Lamlash Bay no-take zone on the Isle of Arran is one of only a handful of marine protected areas in the British Isles where all forms of fishing are banned.

The no-take zone was designated in 2008, following 13 years of campaigning by local community group the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST), and sits within the larger South Arran Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area. Together, they contribute to the mere 4% of Scotland’s exclusive economic zone that is closed to damaging fishing methods like dredging and trawling.

Just over one square mile in size, Lamlash Bay protects fragile maerl beds. These slow-growing coralline algae can take over 100 years to form and serve as important carbon stores. They are also extremely sensitive to damage and disruption.

Research by the University of York, supported by BLUE, has documented the recovery of marine life including shellfish species important to the local fishing fleet.

This research is demonstrating the power of well-managed marine reserves and their value, both to marine life and fisheries. Our results are providing strong evidence to the Scottish Government in support of highly or fully protected marine areas, validating BLUE’s mission to see similar reserves established around the UK.

Isle of Arran

Key stats

250 km2 MPA

1 of 4 no-take zones in the UK

4x more king scallops in no-take zone since 2010

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