Cunninghame North MSP Kenneth Gibson recently praised the work of the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) in the Scottish Parliament for its role in stimulating the regeneration of marine life thanks to a no take zone (NTZ).

The SNP MSP held a debate in Holyrood on the success of NTZs which are marine protected areas permanently set aside from direct human disturbance and where all methods of fishing and extraction of natural materials, dumping, dredging or construction activities are prohibited.

Scotland’s only NTZ is in Lamlash Bay and was introduced in 2008.

Since its introduction, the 2.67sq km area has been a huge success and seen its lobster population become four times more abundant and produce six times more eggs inside the NTZ.

Research also shows that king scallop density is four times higher.

Mr Gibson highlighted the benefits of the policy at

Holyrood and called for MSPs to support the establishment of more NTZs in Scottish waters, saying: “All around Scotland we are fortunate to have fantastically diverse populations of molluscs, crustaceans and fish.

“Many of these live at or near the shore and we must do all we can do protect them from over-fishing and disturbing of the seabed. By doing so we can boost marine tourism while boosting greater diversity in flourishing marine environment.”

A spokesperson for the charity COAST: “We would like to thank Kenneth Gibson MSP for tabling an important motion on the establishment of new no take zones in Scotland recently. We very much welcome the cross-party support the motion gained and thank those MSPs who praised the work of COAST and the Arran community.

“There is clear interest in the importance of Scotland’s marine environment, and

we hope parties will include the establishment of new no take zones in their manifestos.

“No take zones work and coupled with broader, well-managed, marine spatial management measures, we believe we can

significantly recover and regenerate Scottish seas to their former glory for the benefit of all.”