By Melanie Cousins 30th October 2019

Experts from across the world specialising in marine biology have gathered on a tiny Scottish island to talk about the challenges and opportunities for protecting coastal biodiversity.

FSC arranged and hosted this exciting event at FSC Millport, on the Isle of Cumbrae, for the third time in 2019.

The weekend conference attracted more than 70 delegates who heard from a number of expert speakers from around the globe on topics such as marine conservation, citizen science, wildlife recording and rescue, ecotourism and polar research.

Alex MacFie, Head of Centre at FSC Millport said that the event, organised by FSC Senior Tutor Jack Lucas, had been a huge success.

“The diverse array of talks on offer were spectacular and the audience left not only having had a fantastic weekend and feeling well-informed about some of the great work being done around Scotland and further afield, but also with some ideas and inspiration on how they might get involved with marine projects.

“The aim of the event, now in its third year, has always been to bring marine science to as many people as possible and attendance has grown year on year.

“The breadth and quality of presentations reflected the diversity and wonder of our coastlines and ocean and the event itself brought together academics, conservationists, researchers, artists and students to celebrate our marine heritage.

“From plastics to planning, dolphins to disasters, fishing to frozen icecaps; this year’s symposium covered every aspect of the marine environment and serves as a reminder of the importance of integrating different disciplines and specialisms to truly understand our impact on the ocean and its impact on us.”

As well as hearing from experts, delegates attending the event also undertook field excursions with specialist FSC tutors around the Isle of Great Cumbrae to view a range of marine wildlife species including birds, seals and dolphins.

Jack, Alex and the team are now busy planning for next year’s symposium which will be held in the autumn of 2020.

Jack said: “The themes for next year’s symposium have yet to be established, but as with the 2019 event the FSC will aim to attract a diverse range of speakers.

“It is our ambition that the event will grow to become the Clyde forum for all marine-themed discussion from tiny Scottish lochs to the immense ocean and from tropical coral reefs to the frozen polar wastes.”