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      Stornoway, Broadbay & Lochs news

Photographs by Katerina Barvirova

An exhibition of testimonies and photographic portraits sharing experiences of Scotland’s inshore seas is taking place at An Lanntair arts centre this month.


  • Coastal Testimonies Photography Exhibition (small selection) | 18-29 June 2024 | Upper Mezzanine
  • Drop-in sessions | Friday 28 June 12-2pm & Saturday 29 June - 12-3pm | Drum Room
  • Talk | By testimony giver, Janet Marshall | 29 June 2-2.30pm | Drum Room

For the past year the 'Our Seas Coalition' has been gathering testimonies from people all around the country about their first-hand experiences and local knowledge of Scotland’s inshore seas.

They have spoken to many people from all eleven Scottish marine regions, including commercial fishers, skippers, sea anglers, politicians, naturalists, scientists, local businesses, community groups, artists, and those with recreational interests and commissioned photographer Katerina Barvirova to capture their portraits.

These testimonies and portraits are the foundation for this photographic exhibition which will be toured around a number of coastal locations. 

A small selection of these portraits and testimonies will be previewed at An Lanntair, Stornoway, as part of the Outer Hebrides Wildlife Festival this month.

People can also learn more about the project and the Our Seas Coalition, hear from one of the local testimony givers, as well as share your own testimony of the inshore seas at two drop-in sessions.

The Our Seas Coalition is an alliance of 140+ coastal businesses, community groups, fishermen’s associations and environmental organisations campaigning for the environmental recovery of Scotland’s coastal marine environment and the revival of sustainable inshore fisheries.  The primary focus of this project is to promote a better understanding of inshore environmental and fisheries issues through the collection of personal accounts and inspire greater dialogue and action within communities.

“The future of our seas depend on how we act in the next couple of years; the decisions we're going to make, and if we're going to listen to the evidence and take the precautionary approach. I think that's what's going to make or break the difference really.”

Mariel ten Doeschate, Cetacean Scientist, Inverness

“I would like to see the end of privatization of the sea and return to public ownership and good accessible open information, not only about what's there but how it's being managed, by whom and for what purpose.”

Janet Marshall, Clean Coast Outer Hebrides, Isle of Lewis

“All management in the future has to come down to respect and it has to also come down to a lot of indigenous teachings where you think about seven generations ahead of you. Not just thinking about you right now, not just thinking about money in your pocket, it's about future generations.”

Jayson Byles, East Neuk Seaweed, Ceres


“Marine management has to be community led. It has to be what the people who live there feel they need. It shouldn't be the government saying “we’ll do this, we'll do that”, and without reference to the people.”

Cicely Gill, Writer, Whiting Bay

“My one request to politicians about management of the sea would be: put local people first. Let their voices be heard, let them have the opportunity to become responsible for which they have not been able to be responsible for in the recent decades when technology and legislative changes have taken control out of their hands.”

Alistair McIntosh

Writer, campaigner, a founding trustee of the Galgael Trust, Glasgow


Photo credit: Katerina Barvirova