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Scotland's first marine reserve already producing benefits
Date:4/21/2011

his can benefit both fishermen and conservationists."

Although scallops are not widely consumed in the UK, they are currently our third most valuable seafood species, worth almost 50 million in 2009. However, dredging for them can severely damage some sensitive seabed habitats.

The marine reserve at Arran is small, but highly significant. The UK and Scottish governments have recently passed Marine Acts, which will fundamentally change the management of our seas. Part of this process will involve setting up networks of marine protected areas around the UK coast, some of which will be fully protected marine reserves similar to the one off Arran.

Dr Beukers-Stewart added: "Despite some scepticism in the UK fishing industry about marine reserves due to their being largely untested in our waters, the work at Arran provides some very positive and timely evidence about their potential."

COAST chair Howard Wood explained: "The University of York's partnership with COAST is a highly progressive collaboration, because it provides meaningful research for a vital policy area."

But he added: "Without political will for genuinely changing the management of our seas it doesn't matter how many scientific papers are published. We hope the Scottish Government will take this study seriously."

Staff in the Environment Department at the University of York have supported the campaign and work of COAST for many years and the Department has also secured funding to continue monitoring the Arran marine reserve for a further three years.


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Contact: David Garner
david.garner@york.ac.uk
44-190-432-2153
University of York
Source:Eurekalert

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