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A student is asking residents and visitors alike to get involved in a survey of the marine environment around the island.
Arran’s No Take Zone (NTZ) and Marine Protected Area (MPA) have proven that, with the right protection, seabed habitats and biodiversity will recover. Research by the University of York, published earlier this year, showed a dramatic increase of lobsters, scallops and marine biodiversity within these reserves.
The NTZ and MPA in Arran are flagships for marine conservation in the UK, and the world, and serve as an inspiration to other communities along Scotland’s coast; they are important not just for marine conservation, but also for the fishing industry.
This summer, Lucy Howarth-Forster – a masters student from the University of York – is conducting research on the social attitudes towards the marine environment of residents and visitors to Arran.
Lucy said: ‘I am aware that the success of the NTZ and MPA on Arran is driven by local community involvement in marine conservation. I am interested to see if attitudes of Arran residents are different from those who visit the island from mainland Scotland and further afield. To do this, I will be comparing results from this project to a recent Marine Scotland survey, and I will also compare them to results from a survey completed in 2011 by another MSc student to assess if peoples’ attitudes have changed with time.’
If you would like to contribute to this research Lucy would be very grateful. Please input this link https://bit.ly/2B4W2Tr into your web-browser, or scan the QR code in the image to complete the survey (closing date August 16, 2020). The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete and has been designed to work on smart phones, tablets and desktops.