The Isle of Arran No-Take Zone (NTZ) project on the west coast of Scotland has seen an increase in fish stocks and fish size.

The marine reserve project has been running for around 12 years, and has shown remarkable recoveries in marine wildlife.

The Firth of Clyde, on the west coast of Scotland, was once one of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe. 

However, successive decades of poor management and overfishing led to a dramatic loss of biodiversity and the collapse of finfish fisheries. 

In response, concerned local residents on the Isle of Arran, which lies in the middle of the Clyde, formed the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) in 1995. 

After 13 years of campaigning, a small (2.67 km2 ) area in Lamlash Bay became Scotland’s first no-take zone (NTZ) in 2008, and only the second in the UK. Since protection, biodiversity has increased substantially, along with the size, age and density of commercially important species such as the king scallop, Pecten maximus, and the European lobster, Homarus gammarus. 

Arguably more important, however, is the influence the Lamlash Bay NTZ and COAST have had on UK marine protection in general.

Most notably, detailed research has created a case study that clearly demonstrates the benefits of protection in an area where little such evidence is available. 

This case has been used repeatedly to support efforts for increased protection of UK waters to help rebuild marine ecosystems and enhance their resilience in an uncertain future. 

In Scotland specifically, lobbying by COAST led to the designation of a much larger marine protected area (MPA, >250 km2 ) around the south of Arran, one of 30 new MPAs in the country.

For more on the Arran project read it here

Source: Frontiers in Science