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Welcome to the latest edition of the CCN newsletter, where you'll find news and updates related to the Network.

This month I launched an internal consultation with the Network members to discuss what CCN's vision, mission, and high-level aims are going forward. With so many new members joining recently, it feels like an appropriate time to step back and reflect on what it is CCN exists to achieve in the long-term. Parallel to this, FFI is supporting CCN to explore future governance development with a view to gaining network-wide agreement on what the future of CCN looks like at the gathering in Gartmore next spring.

On that latter note, one of my main priorities going into the new year is to start the planning for this weekend-long event, which many will tell you is the highlight of the CCN calendar! It will be taking place on the 12-14th May 2023 and you can read reports from previous years events in our online document library.

Alan Munro
CCN Coordinator
CCN Forum updates
This month CCN Aquaculture Forum members met with Marine Scotland officials to give feedback on a set of draft outcomes which will form part of the soon-to-be-finalised 2045 Vision for Sustainable Aquaculture. CCN's overall impression is that the outcomes as they are drafted lack ambition and do not tackle the pressing environmental, animal welfare and other asociated issues with open net salmon aquaculture in Scotland. CCN members presented their vision for a future in which the use of open nets to rear salmon is a thing of the past; a realisation many other countries are waking up to.

We are also encouraging members of the public who are concerned about farmed salmon and its impact on wild salmon and the wider marine environment to contact CCN for more information.

Marine plastics
A representative from CCN attended this month's Marine Litter Strategy Steering Group. The purpose of this mutli-stakeholder forum is to encourage discussion around delivery of actions in the updated Marine Litter Strategy. CCN members are advocating for greater recognition of, and support for, local community groups dealing with the impact of marine pollution, especially ghost fishing gear and debris from other marine industries.

Members of CCN Restoration Forum are currently in discussions with NatureScot and others around how to create a better enabling environment for communities to set up and run their own marine habitat restoration projects. At the moment, licensing and permitting proceses are rather complex and are seen as a barrier for delivering habitat recovery at scale. We are hopnig to make progress on this in the following months.
Loch Craignish Demonstration & Research MPA
In recognition of the growing amount of science and community-based restoration taking place in Loch Craignish, CCN member CROMACH is undertaking consultation with all stakeholders with the aim of applying to the Scottish Government for Loch Craignish to be designated a D&R MPA.
The aim is to create a framework for everyone to work together to improve the health and biodiversity of the Loch, to promote sustainable fishing and aquaculture, and to create green jobs. Seawilding’s work to restore marine habitats is central to this aim.

If successful, this would be Scotland’s second D&R MPA!
Restoration Forth BioBlitz
This month myself and colleagues braved the rain and joined the Marine Conservation Society /  Restoration Forth team (including CCN members Edinburgh Shoreline and the Ecology Centre) down at Crammon Beach for a morning nature walk & bioblitz. Over 40 volunteers showed up for species ID, a bit of citizen science & introduction to seagrass & native oyster restoration.
Off the Table campaign
Off the table is a coalition campaign, coordinated by the conservation charity WildFish, which aims to raise awareness of the negative environmental, welfare and sustainability issues related to open-net salmon farming, amongst the hospitality / catering sectors, chefs, restaurants and diners. The campaign is calling on chefs and restaurants to take farmed salmon off their menus. 

To coincide with the launch of the campaign, WildFish published a new report which investigates how the Scottish salmon farming industry exploits 'harvesting', both as a means of avoiding mandatory sea lice reporting, and as a disease management tool. The report can be found here: Scottish salmon farming: Harvesting, sea lice and disease report

Many CCN groups have lended their support to this campaign and encourage you to share it widely.
The COAST Explorer arrives at Lamlash!
This month COAST welcomed the arrival of their new boat the RV COAST Explorer to Lamlash. The boat, constructed in Great Yarmouth with funding from the Nature Restoration Fund, Fauna & Flora International Arcadia & Blue Marine Foundation, will form a central part of COAST's vision to expand their scientific research and monitoring projects, citizen science outreach opportunities and marine educaiton programme.

They have launched a survey asking, "What do you want from the COAST Exporer?"
National Marine Plan 2
The process to develop the new National Marine Plan has been launched. The first National Marine Plan was developed in 2015. Alongside this announcement, Marine Scotland published a Stakeholder Engagement Strategy and Statement of Public Participation, to guide engagement with stakeholders during the national marine planning process. In this document you will find proposed methods and timeframes for engagement over the next 3 years.
You can also find out more by emailing:
CCN Community Support Fund
The Community Support Fund is a dedicated small grant fund operated by Fauna & Flora International to support member groups of the Coastal Communities Network.  Grants can be sought by Network members for discrete projects, to build the capacity or governance of a group, or to support learning and development. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and there is no deadline.

The Scottish Marine Environment Enhancement Fund Project Development Grants are open for applications, this time to support work such as baseline surveys and feasibility studies for restoration and enhancement. Projects can apply for grants of up to up to £25,000, with the provision for one exceptional award of up to £100,000 for a wide range of activities. Deadline is 09/01/23. You can register for the mailing list by emailing
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