Protected Area L - South Arran MPA
The waters around the southern end of Arran are home to a patchwork of benthic habitats and species characteristic of the more exposed areas of the Clyde Sea. The MPA encompasses the waters from just north of Drumadoon Point on the west coast, to Corriegills Point on the east and includes the Lamlash Bay no Take Zone.
The maerl beds, which are made up of a free-living calcified red seaweed that looks like pink branched twiglets, support an amazing array of other seaweeds as well as various sea anemones, starfish and juvenile fish and shellfish. The maerl is interspersed with coarse gravel sea cucumbers which bury their bodies in the maerl and gravel extending only their white or orange feathery tentacles up into the water column to feed. The seagrass beds that provide shelter and protection to a range of associated species also help to stabilise sediments, furthermore these areas trap and store carbon dioxide.
Burrowed mud is widely distributed around the outer regions of the MPA and supports a range of animals including Norway lobster, squat lobster, crabs, worms, ocean quahogs and the slender seapen.
Summary of the approaches to management
South Arran already has a Marine Conservation Order in place. It will be replaced as part of this process. There are 3 approaches to management presented all of which would prohibit the use of suction dredges (boat or diver operated) throughout the MPA, and provide a high level of protection to the maerl beds.
The 1 st approach would prohibit the use of demersal trawls or mechanical dredges within ½ NM of land. This approach would not deliver management of burrowed mud which would require further consideration.
The 2 nd approach would create scallop permit areas with a strict management scheme for mechanical dredging. In addition designated fishing areas for trawlers under 100 Gross Registered Tonnage ( GRT) would be created. This would meet all the conservation requirements
The 3 rd approach would have the same trawl management as approach 2. For mechanical dredging a designated fishing area would be created which would be the subject of additional controls. This would meet all the conservation requirements.
See the Protected Area L section in the following documents;
See questions 28 - 32