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The Coastal Communities Network Newsletter
June 2021

Read on for this month's updates from CCN members, friends and supporters, plus a special feature on the Argyll Hope Spot, and more exciting new job opportunities.
 Guillemots flying under water © Lisa Kamphausen/ NatureScot Flickr

The CCN Advisory Group

We recently sent round a call for any CCN members interested in joining a consultative group, and now have in place a ‘CCN Advisory Group’ who can input their/their group’s ideas and opinions on some CCN matters.  Decision-making will remain the remit of CCN members as a whole.

  Initially, the group expects to focus on: 1. Gartmore 3 coming up in October (ideas around the programme etc.); 2. The potential for a new FFI-employed CCN coordinator to work for CCN (ideas on what their role should include etc.); 3. Advice on increasing engagement, CCN priorities etc.

It’s hoped that the group can ‘meet’ online on at least a monthly basis.  The group members are: Annabel Lawrence (CAOLAS, Hope Spot), Eileen Armstrong (SSSi), John Aitchison (FoSoJ, Hope Spot), Howard Wood (COAST), David Nairn (Fairlie) and Rosslyn Barr (Edinburgh Shoreline).

The CCN Advisory Group met (virtually) for the first time on Thursday 24th June, with 4 of 6 members able to attend.  It was agreed that I would circulate notes of each meeting to all CCN members afterwards and the next meeting will be arranged for the end of July.  Please see the agenda and notes of the meeting. 

If anyone would like to find out more, or chat about the group do get in touch.


Auchtertyre Academy Videos - Holes
James Merryweather has now published four new YouTube videos expanding on topics discussed in his main salmon farming video ‘Holes’.  The next will explore the South Skye Seas Initiative's experience of what we will kindly call 'irregularities' in planning applications as a warning to others commenting in consultations. So keep an eye on the Auchtertyre Academy channel.  Please feel free to watch and share these links.
Wardie Bay Bathing Water

Wardie Bay Beachwatch seek appeal update
CCN member Wardie Bay Beachwatch are still awaiting a response to their appeal to have the waters at Wardie Bay designated as a Bathing Water site in 2021.  In 2019, the Wild Ones wild swimmers and Wardie Bay Beachwatch applied to SEPA for designated Bathing Water status for Wardie Bay, situated between Granton and Newhaven Harbours, in Edinburgh.

Evidence was provided of beach usage levels of over 150 people a day across the bathing season but the application was rejected by the then Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.  An appeal was submitted in 2020.  In June 2021, still awaiting a response, Wardie Bay Beachwatch wrote to the new Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands to request a decision be sent via SEPA.  Read the letter hereSign the petition.
Blue Hope Alliance

The Blue Hope Alliance

Many congratulations to CCN member, Sea Change Wester Ross, and partners, in their recent funding success for their Blue Hope Alliance initiative

The Blue Hope Alliance is a coalition of organisations around the Wester Ross Marine Protected Area (MPA) who work together using citizen science to record species present in the MPA, any damage & anything which needs restoration as well as to monitor harmful activities.  Composed of fishermen, divers, boat owners, anglers, scientists & members of the various local communities, they use a combination of survey methodologies (including film footage, scientific reports, data gathering, etc), focussing on maerl in particular (as that species has legal protection). 

Their data is made freely available & has already helped to ensure better protection (via a no-dredge agreement) for the MPA.  Plans include applying for Hope Spot recognition and building further research partnerships for longer term benefit for the MPA.

Briefing Note – Economic Impact of Salmon Farming

Last year, Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust (SIFT) and Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland published a report on the economic impact of salmon aquaculture, alongside a peer review report.

SIFT has now shared a summary note of last year’s economic impact of salmon aquaculture report, which is an ideal starting point to the outcomes of this research. 

In summary, the report found that: costs to other stakeholders have not been assessed; stakeholders affected by salmon farms have not even been identified; and data cited by The Scottish Government cannot be reconciled with official data.
Hope Spot
Society of Wildlife Artists explore the Argyll Hope Spot

This month the Argyll Coast & Islands Hope Spot will play host to a small group of artists from across the UK. Each of these artists regularly draw on marine habitats for inspiration and have been invited to spend a week snokerlling and diving across the Hope Spot to make new work. They will be on site from the 18th - 25th July and we will be sharing work in progress and news from their visit throughout. Make sure you are following both the Argyll Hope Spot and the Society of Wildlife Artists online to follow the action.
Facebook: /ArgyllHopeSpot
Instagram: @argyllhopespot
Twitter: @ArgyllHopeSpot


Understanding the local economic benefits of a healthy marine environment

The Argyll Coast & Islands Hope Spot is looking to speak to businesses, organisations and residents within the Hope Spot to understand how the marine habitats and wildlife of the area support local communities. We want to understand a number of things including;
  • How do businesses and organisations relate to marine biodiversity here? Does it feature in their business model for example? If not, could it?
  • What are the real economic benefits of the habitats/biodiversity etc of the Hope Spot to them?
  • How could the Hope Spot designation be of use to local businesses, organisations and communities?
If you are a business or organisation operating within the Hope Spot and would be interested in discussing this or finding out more, please get in touch with Project Co-ordinator, Keira Anderson.

Highlands & Islands Environment Foundation

  The next round of HIEF grant applications is open until 2nd August (9am).  Applications can be made online or via an application form, which can be downloaded from the website

Congratulations to the two marine projects successfully funded in the previous round: Friends of Loch Hourn - Fact Finding Mission and Blue Hope Alliance – project officer.

Environmental Rights Centre Scotland
The Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland advice service is up and running!  Offering free advice to individuals, community groups and organisations on environmental and related planning law and seeking to increase confidence in exercising our environmental rights.  Get advice today:

ERCS understands environmental law as including law relating to land-use planning, climate change, pollution control, environmental health, the conservation of biodiversity, and any other field (e.g. cultural heritage, transport and energy) to the extent that it impacts on the natural environment in Scotland.

The ERCS launch event was recorded and is available here, plus a short info film here, and a Children’s parliament film here.  More at the website.

New Scottish Parliament Committees Announced

The new Scottish Parliament committees were announced on 22nd June, with the two most relevant to CCN being the Rural Affairs, Islands and Natural Environment Committee (RAINE) and the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee (NZET). 

The RAINE Committee will consider and report on matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, such as islands, fisheries and aquaculture. 

See this report from the first meeting of the RAINE Committee, thanks to CCN member Eileen for the useful highlights.

What Happens when Salmon Farms are Removed?

Have you seen this inspiring video from Alex Morton: What Happens when Salmon Farms are Removed?

  “In the spring of 2021, most salmon farms on Canada’s biggest wild salmon migration route were empty. The impact on young wild salmon was unmistakable – they looked beautiful.”
Climate Scotland

Climate Scotland
In the run-up to COP26, the Climate Scotland campaign will gather the voices of people across Scotland and take them to COP26 to show our leaders just how much they care about climate and nature.

If you’ve been thinking about how you can get involved with a climate campaign ahead of COP26, they’d love to work with you on this to show the strong support for action on climate and nature in Scotland. They hope to get at least 10,000 people to sign up and select from one of 9 themes to show what they care about, and they have the option to include a message to bring to COP.
As a partner, you’ll bring the voices of the people you work with and represent so that they can be heard at COP26. You’ll have the opportunity to showcase climate action from your organisation or community, including at COP26, and get the opportunity to connect with other partners and help shape the campaign.

There are no specific policy asks, so we hope this will appeal to broad audiences who may not already be engaged with climate change campaigns. Take a look at the website:

Fish Farm Containment and Marine Mammal Interactions

Code of Practice Consultation

Section 7 of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2007 (“2007 Act”) empowers the Scottish Ministers to approve a code of practice, in whole or in part, in order to give practical guidance to fish farmers, promoting desirable practices with respect to the containment of fish on fish farms and the prevention of escapes by farmed fish.

This Code of Practice sets out the standards expected from Aquaculture Production Businesses in Scotland in order to provide for the containment of fish on fish farms and to prevent their escape in relation to marine mammal interactions.

The consultation period runs until 3rd August 2021.
  Respond online.

Island Communities Fund

The Island Communities Fund supports the grassroots delivery of the National Islands Plan. It builds on the success and learnings from the Islands Green Recovery Programme (2020/21) and represents a £2 million ‘on-island’ capital grant commitment.
Businesses and community groups located across Scotland’s inhabited islands can apply for grants of up to £150,000 for projects focussed on supporting sustainable island economies and the journey towards net zero.

A strong emphasis is required, on how projects will contribute to Scotland’s fair and just transition to net zero and to climate resilient living on islands, while also supporting COVID-19 recovery and increased community resilience.

Submission Deadline for Applications is noon on Friday 16 July.  Projects should be completed by 31 March 2022.
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CCN use googlegroups to power the email discussions amongst the sub-groups (see CCN initiatives).  Did you know: you can change the frequency of these emails, or unsubscribe, by using the link at the bottom of each email (you may need to login to googlegroups using the same email address).  To unsubscribe from the CCN newsletter, use the link at the bottom of this email. 
The 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 - feel free to get in touch to discuss any ideas!
Find out more
CCN Facebook Group

Did you know that the Coastal Communities Network has a Facebook Group for Members?  If you are a Member, Supporter or Friend of the Network, then join the group!
Join here
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