Image of an island called Holy Isle taken on a boat

On the morning of Arran’s Water’s Day, organised by COAST, I had the opportunity to board their recently launched vessel; The RV Coast Explorer.

On the 25th of May at Arran’s Water’s Day, the water of Lamlash Bay was glossy and smooth as the boat entered the No Take Zone. As Skipper Euan explained, this area completely bans all forms of extraction and has been left undisturbed since its establishment in 2008. It is also home to a particularly special organism. On board, Euan passes around a small tub filled with intricate white fragments resembling coral. These were pieces of maerl, a living organism similar to coral that thrives on the seabed. Lamlash Bay is home to a particularly dense bed of maerl, making it a vital part of Arran’s marine ecosystem.

Standing on deck, we all watched as Euan lowered a camera to reveal what lay beneath us, as he continued flashes of colour danced on the tablet screen as we all peered to have a look. Greens and blues turned to vibrant pinks as the camera revealed the seabed beneath us. It was a mesmerizing glimpse into this marine habitat, though the signal soon faded, leaving the underwater world a mystery once more.

Our exploration didn’t stop at the seabed. Euan introduced us to the microscopic organisms that form the foundation of the marine food chain. He pulled out what looked like a long white sieve and explained that we were going to catch some plankton. After a brief tow alongside the boat, the sieve’s contents were sealed in a tub and passed around. At first glance, the water seemed clear, but at eye level, you could see tiny zooplankton zipping around, frantically circling in the small container. It was astonishing to think that these small creatures are a crucial food source for the massive basking sharks seen in our waters. 

As we headed back to shore, I felt a deep sense of hope and awe for the abundance of marine life surrounding Arran. The RV Coast Explorer provided an incredible opportunity for people of all ages to get a closer look at the No Take Zone and appreciate the importance of protecting our unique marine environment.

In addition to the boat trip, Eco Savvy participated in Arran’s Water’s Day. Juliette and I manned a stand filled with information about upcoming events, alongside many other island organisations. The sun was shining on what was a great day celebrating Arran’s beautiful marine environment and the community that supports it.

There are upcoming boat trips in July and August if you are interested in taking a closer look at our No Take Zone. You can book a spot on the RV Coast Explorer through Coast’s website: 

Arran's RV Coast Explorer at Arran's Water's Day
Coast’s RV Coast Explorer

In the Loop

Make sure you get our mail!

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Handcrafted with love by From This Day
© Arran Eco Savvy 2024