Sea Change Wester Ross is a local marine think tank based around the shores of the Wester Ross Marine Protected Area set up to protect the marine environment within the MPA and encourage more local say in the management of inshore waters. Sea Change wants to support the socio-economic recovery of the area by promoting sustainable seas and fishing vital to the social fabric of our community as well as boost marine tourism.
Our aim is to protect Wester Ross Marine Protected Area and:
- restore biodiversity within the marine ecosystem using an holistic model and increase the numbers of mature breeding adults to improve stocks
- promote low impact sustainable fishing within inshore waters
- encourage scientists and fishermen to share knowledge and work together to create a world class model of sustainable local management
- educate by engaging with the community in an inclusive way and promote greater public awareness through factual education
- ban Scallop dredging and other Sea bed damaging practices from inshore waters to protect fish nurseries and spawning grounds and restore fin fish species
- retain an independent voice and promote the public as the key stakeholder in our marine environment
- build relationships between fishermen, scientists, environment groups and the public to work for best practice which fits local needs – and serves the public
- unite with like minded groups such as COAST of Arran and fishermen’s groups to promote a united west coast voice for a thriving sea and coastal economy which embraces sustainable fishing
- monitor recovery by supporting surveys to measure sea bed and fin fish recovery with ‘Citizen Science’.
We believe these will boost our area’s attractiveness to marine tourists and sea anglers and benefit all within the community.
The marine environment has been in rapid decline since the 3 mile limit was lifted in 1984 and is increasingly impacted by warming of the oceans and acidification as well as over fishing. Maerl beds and seagrass and seaweed communities provide nurseries for juvenile fish and spawning areas for many key species – such as herring, which spawns on the sea bed and is the key stone species within Wester Ross upon which the food chain depends – including whales. The protection of Sea Mammals – whales, dolphins, porpoise as well as skate, within the MPA are vital. We are made up of ordinary members of the public, scientists, fishermen and conservationists, united by a shared love of our watery planet and a desire to restore it for the next generation.
All who live in Wester Ross and agree with us are welcome to join the group. Please Like our Facebook page too!
Member of the Coastal Communities Network Scotland http://www.communitiesforseas.scot/