FOCB Attend Important Marine Conference
Links between the two groups began when Phil Hughes, chairman of Friends of Cardigan Bay arranged a visit to Arran earlier this year after an invitation by Dr Sally Campbell a founder member of C.O.A.S.T. “We had a lot to talk about” said Mr Hughes, “the people of Arran have been concerned for many years about the declining state of the Firth of Clyde; while we have had similar concerns for Cardigan Bay. We have faced many of the same problems, and have a lot we can work on together in the future”
In attendance alongside Friends of Cardigan Bay and C.O.A.S.T. were representatives of the Scottish Government, N.G.O.'s, community groups and leading academics such as Professor Callum Roberts (Marine conservation biologist, University of York), Professor Seth Macinko (Dept of marine affairs, University of Rhode Island), and Tom Appleby (Senior Lecturer in marine law, University of West England). Discussions focused on the current state of fish stocks and the impact on the fishing industry. Delegates at the conference also discussed visions for sustainable fisheries and the role of the public in governing the oceans. The need for effective policy to safeguard the oceans from over-exploitation was continually raised, as was the desire for a network of marine reserves and no-take zones designed to protect fish stocks and biodiversity for the future.
“No-take zones are an essential part of marine planning. They provide fish spawning grounds needed to replenish commercial stocks and are essential for understanding the impact scallop dredging and bottom trawling is having. They provide us with a comparison – important for any credible scientific assessment of the state of the sea” said Lewis Winks (pictured bottom left), who attended the Arran conference representing Friends of Cardigan Bay.