New marine awareness play area for Arran ferry
Children travelling to Arran will now get a sense of what marine life they are likely to spot thanks to a new themed play area on the MV Caledonian Isles.
As part of ferry operator CalMac's Vessel Refurbishment Programme, the kid's area aboard has been refreshed with sealife themed interpretation boards and interactive screens.
Susan Weston, CalMac's Customer Experience and Improvement Manager said:
'When we were looking at relocating the play area updating the play areas we thought it would be a good idea to have an educational theme and what better than an illustration of the range of wildlife that can be spotted from the ferry.
'We brought on board partners from environmental charities organisations: The Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) on Arran, Field Studies Council on Millport, and ORCA to advise us and we came up with a play area which we think gives children a great chance to learn about the range of wildlife in the seas around Arran.
'This play area will help highlight this immense diversity of wildlife in our waters and hopefully teach our young passengers something about it.'
Picture shows: Cody (3) and Lotti (1) Craig from Lamlash are among the first to experience the new marine themed play area with mum Kelly.
The educational themed designs will be rolled out to other CalMac major vessels in the coming months.
Jenny Stark from COAST said: 'The marine environment CalMac Ferries sail in is among the most diverse in the world, supporting over 6,500 complex and 40,000 single cell species of plants and animals. This vibrant design is a fantastic tribute to the creatures we find in our locals seas, and a great way to get people engaged in the local environment before arriving on the island. The waters around Arran are home to a unique "No Take Zone", which has been closed to fishing for almost twelve years. Scallops and lobsters, which you can see on the design, have really benefited from this protection and have increased by 400% in the last decade.
'We encourage everyone to visit COAST's Marine Visitor Centre in Lamlash to find out more about the marine conservation efforts on Arran, and to see some of the animals from the illustration for themselves."
The MV Caledonian Isles helped carry more than 800,000 passengers to Arran last year.