A new organisation, The Sound of Mull Artificial Reef Trust or ‘SMART’, is being established to take forward a community tourism project here in the Sound of Mull, through the intentional sinking of an ex naval ship. Inspired by the environmental and economic success of HMS Scylla, which was submerged near Plymouth in 2004, and other ships around the world, SMART is of the opinion that this could bring similar benefits to the West Coast of Scotland and the Highlands & Islands.
This type of artificial reef has been developed in a number of countries including the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the Cayman Islands. The Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) is planning to support and part-fund a feasibility study into the plans, which will include a detailed assessment of the potential economic and environmental benefits to the area.
More information on HMS Scylla, including economic and environmental impacts, can be found here:
SMART has prepared a new website which will provide a lot more information and project details and this will be going live shortly. In the interim a holding page is live at SMARTdiving.co.uk where you, as part of the diving community who have spent time here in the Sound of Mull, can register interest in the project, provide your comments and insights, and be kept informed of developments directly as they happen.
So please visit the SMART diving webpages and register your interest: we need your support and value your comments and ideas at this early stage. You can also follow SMART on twitter @SMARTdiving.
Mark & Annabel