Argyll Coast and Islands Hope Spot is an area with beautiful mountains, lochs, islands, and hundreds of miles of coastline, home of Scottish heritage, and unique landscapes. This has also become the country’s basement of the leading renewable energy developers. The place is home to world-class on-shore and off-shore wind tower manufacturers CS Wind, with The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), the world leader in marine science research that is aiming at the conservation of the area’s natural assets.
Argyll Coast and Islands is a place with a unique marine ecosystem. Working Together with the local communities has enabled the protection of marine species in the Argyll Coast and Islands. Community groups have come together and immersed themselves in the conservation of the west coast of Scotland’s marine ecosystems.
John Aitchison, a wildlife cameraman is the Hope Spot Champion for this site.
“There are so many communities along the coast whose livelihoods and enjoyment depend on the sea being healthy. We hope that its designation as Scotland’s first Hope Spot will encourage more people to get involved and to appreciate the life below the surface that is right on their doorsteps.”
Other community networks and organizations like community networks (CAOLAS, CROMACH, Friends of the Sound of Jura and Save Seil Sound), the Coastal Communities Network, and Scotland have come together to raise community awareness and encouraging the protection of Scotland’s unique marine ecosystems.
More specifically, the Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura Marine Protected Area was created in 2014 to protect the area’s deep, glacier-carved seabed troughs and a critically endangered species – the flapper skate and largest Skate in the world. This species is a large flat fish, related to sharks and rays that grow up to 3m in length with a whip-like tail and weigh up to 200kg. There is ongoing research on the flapper skate as they are very mysterious. No one knows exactly how long they live, or where they lay their eggs. It seems that some are migratory, which means they may leave their only marine protected area. Finding this out will require more research and, if that’s the case, they need more thorough protection.