Here, Danny and his amazing team showed us the devastating impact scallop dredging, fish farming, anchoring and pollution have had on the biodiversity in the Loch. Areas which were once filled with seagrass, oyster beds and a variety of fish and marine species have been left predominantly barren, with only patches of seaweed and the occasional tiny fish or crab passing by.
However, learning about, and seeing, the inspiring work that Seawilding do in the Loch provided a strong hope for the future. Wetsuited up, we headed out snorkelling in the Loch to see the seagrass meadows that Seawilding have already planted. In a localised area, seagrass provides habitats for numerous fish and different species, which was visibly evident in the loch restoration areas, whilst also capturing carbon dioxide from the water. Seawilding has already restored 1 hectare of seagrass in the Loch and through extensive surveys have discovered a further 80 hectares in the Loch that are suitable for seagrass restoration.
However, the current method of plantation is lengthy as the seagrass is gathered by hand and their seeds are each individually extracted and replanted, something we had a go at ourselves! This is not helped by the fact that the divers have to hold their breath and continuously come up for air. Therefore, with True Travel’s recent donation Seawilding are investing in scuba diving training for the divers so that their time spent replanting is more effective. This will allow them to restore more seagrass in the loch in a shorter amount of time.