Wester Ross Marine Protected Area Restoration Project
It takes an Ecosystem to Protect an Ecosystem - we like to inspire you to participate in simple actions
Thank you to each visitor who books Reiff Beach Cottage for helping us support the marine environment. Since 2016 Reiff Beach Cottage has been using a percentage of holiday makers booking fees to support Wester Ross Marine Protected Area's restoration by ensuring some of the rental income goes towards supporting citizen science survey coordinated by Sea Change Wester Ross. Sea Change is a marine conservation group and thinktank. The surveys are a collaboration between wild fish groups, low impact fishermen, divers and members of the community working together to map and protect the area.
At least a couple of weeks rental accommodation are donated each year to survey divers, dive-cameramen and marine scientists coming to support our citizen science surveys. These help protect the sea by helping us map species and habitat and monitor their condition and human impacts.
We hope guests will feel their own contribution to the restoration story (by choosing to book Reiff Beach Cottage which has a gold award for the environment) is an opportunity to learn more about the threats to the sea and how consumer choice can help support sustainability. By choosing to buy only responsibly sourced seafood or locally caught creel and dive seafood - this makes a difference.
TAKE 3 For the Sea: pick up 3 pieces of plastic or rubbish when you leave the beach, waterway or hills. Thousands of people taking small simple actions daily can make all the difference.
Even take a bag and pick up more as you walk? This helps save sea creatures especially sea mammals like whales, dolphin and porpoise. The whole Marine Protected Area is an exciting location from which to explore and understand the amazing beauty of the area, both above and below sea level too. You can dive, snorkel, swim or take boat or kayak trips. Visit Take 3 For The Sea if you'd like to know more https://www.take3.org/
On the weeks Reiff Beach Cottage becomes base camp for survey divers and marine scientists - the process of discovery is recorded on film thanks to some excellent diver cameramen and local support. The owner of Reiff Beach Cottage is a film maker with a long track record in making films about the environment and as a result coordinates Sea Change which has become a network of people working to lobby for more protection - amongst other local groups and people.
The page opposite has a selection of films made from the survey footage by the cottage owner. Much of the footage is shot by Andy Jackson of SubSeaTV, a brilliant underwater cameraman, supported by local scallop divers, fishermen, marine scientists and the Inverness Sub Aqua club divers, and of course Seasearch too. These films show the process of discovery, the stunning beauty under the waves, as well as the damage done in the area by dredgers and salmon farms.
There are many more films on www.littlegreenislandfilms.co.uk or on the Sea Change Wester Ross website http://seachangewesterross.co.uk/ so please visit those too if interested.
Photo of the ISAC Clam Trophy Cup
The Inverness Sub Aqua Club very kindly awarded the Sea Change Project the Clam Trophy for the best ISAC project in 2018. We are very grateful to all the seasearch divers within ISAC for their support and this generous acknowledgement. They are a great deal of fun to work with and their support is hugely appreciated.
Here are some!
1- An Underwater Ecosystem and Flowers of the Sea Forest is a survey of the Summer Isles Archipelago with Fishermen & community members working for better custodianship of the Marine Protected Area through citizen science. PLEASE NOTE IT'S PASSWORD PROTECTED - password is sea cucumber (Click on the photo to link to the video)
2- The Wastelands in the Sea by A Scallop Diver is a story of a letter written late at night by the Chairman of the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation. The film was made from survey footage in Wester Ross Marine Protected Area shot by survey divers based at Reiff Beach Cottage. This is particularly topical given there is a campaign to restore the 3 Mile Limit launched by the SCFF (the creel and dive fishermen)
3- Bubbles & The Seal Whisperer: Stories from the Highland Wildlife Hospital is a film about the delightful Beatrice and the seals, birds and animals she rescues.
4- Horse Island & The Pink Seaweed is a film about protecting the maerl (the pink seaweed) and other habitats in the Marine Protected Area from salmon farms. Produced from the results of our surveys and divers based at Reiff.
4- The Bountiful Sea and the Story of Wester Ross Marine Protected Area This is the story of the creation of the Wester Ross Marine Protected area and the benefits to the community of it's recovery. This was made for the National Trust for Scotland
Or on the National Trust website