Feed aggregator

Multi-tasking with the Scotia: Part 2

Marine Scotland Blog - Fri, 2018-06-22 14:15

The second week on the Nephrops TV survey on Scotia was considerably less eventful than the first – thankfully!

The work progressed well having travelled through the North Minch recovering and then deploying another COMPASS cetacean mooring at the Shiants, and then working down past Uist and Barra, replacing a third COMPASS mooring en route.

After a trawl in the evening of the 11th the vessel headed for Stanton Bank where a further two COMPASS moorings were recovered and a replacement deployed. Eight TV stations were surveyed whilst at Stanton Bank using this rare opportunity of visiting the area (and the unusually calm conditions) to gather Nephrops abundance data, the first time in over 10 years.

When starting to finalise the arrangements for the half landing, it became apparent that there were no available berths in Campbeltown. Following several calls to various ports, Belfast was the only port able to provide a berth on Friday 15th, leaving the Clyde to be surveyed over the weekend when the trawlers would not be working. This is an advantage for the survey as the seabed is not disturbed as much as when the trawlers are fishing thus improving the visibility on the seabed.

Working out that there was sufficient time before going to port, the vessel steamed north east to Skye and began working through the remaining TV stations in the South Minch before a storm arrived on the night of the 13th. With all but five stations completed and having carried out a trawl, the vessel headed for Colonsay to shelter and remained there till midday on the 14th. Once the weather eased the vessel travelled through the Sound of Islay and started working in the Sound of Jura, where a number of stations were relocated due to the density of creels. Late that evening TV operations stopped to allow time to steam to Belfast for an 8 am arrival, which left five stations in off Jura for the return leg of the survey.

After a welcome break in the city, the vessel had a short steam north to the first station in the Clyde on the 16th. Work began around Ailsa Craig in flat calm, sunny conditions and after a trawl later that day, Scotia headed for the Kilbrannan Sound on the west side of Arran for daylight on the 17th. From here the vessel worked north towards Loch Fyne and then down the east side of Arran, with the remainder of the Clyde TV stations and a trawl to be completed by midday on the 18th.


Further Information:

The post Multi-tasking with the Scotia: Part 2 appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Scottish National Investment Bank

Marine Scotland News list - Fri, 2018-06-22 14:00

Former Tesco Bank CEO appointed as strategic adviser.

Provisional budget outturn

Marine Scotland News list - Thu, 2018-06-21 14:40

Update for the 2017-18 financial year.

Timescale for child abuse inquiry extended

Marine Scotland News list - Thu, 2018-06-21 14:30

Inquiry given more time to ensure survivors’ voices are heard.

Celebrating Science and Year of the Young Person – Julia Black

Marine Scotland Blog - Thu, 2018-06-21 10:00

2018 is both the Year of the Engineer and the Year of the Young Person and this blog is about one of our many colleagues who are inspiring the next generation with their Outreach work.

Meet Julia Black a Molecular Geneticist at Marine Scotland Science. Gummy bears and strawberry laces in science! Read on to find out more.

Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Julia Black, a molecular geneticist, have been working in the MSS Marine Laboratory since 1999, mostly on the diagnosis of fish and shellfish pathogens.

Why is what you do important?
Detection of disease in farmed and wild fish and shellfish leads to improvements in and the healthy maintenance of Scotland’s aquaculture and fisheries. We often have to process a lot of samples in a short period of time to give a rapid result.

What’s your career path been – how did you get here?
Did a degree in Genetics at Aberdeen University, worked in the tissue typing (organ transplant matching) department of the Blood Transfusion Service for over 5 years and then got a job here at the Marine Lab.

If you weren’t doing this, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
Travel agent or travel guide writer – I love to plan a holiday!

What’s your favourite fishy fact?
So many – swimming goggles can be made from fish scales. Scales can also be found in some lipsticks while ketchup originally contained fish (mainly anchovies).

What made you decide to be involved in Outreach?
Schools are struggling for resources – being able to go into school or help with work placement students gives the children opportunity to experience or learn something completely new.

What do you enjoy most about doing Outreach?
Going into primary school classes – the enthusiasm is infectious, makes you look at your own subject with new eyes. And you can get asked some very interesting questions (some of which are best not to repeat!!). I often do what I call Sweetie Science – raspberry jelly ‘agar’ plates with hundreds and thousands to represent bacteria and DNA made from gummy bears and strawberry laces.

Would you encourage others to get involved in Outreach too?
Absolutely, I went into one school with a colleague – the children were initially not very engaged, as the rest of their class was on a residential trip. But by the end of the session, we had them all looking down microscopes and competing to build the best wind turbine from pencils and cereal packets. Events like the Doors Open Day in Stonehaven are great too – so many people coming in who may otherwise have never engaged with Marine Scotland before.

Further Information

The post Celebrating Science and Year of the Young Person – Julia Black appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Funding for breast milk bank

Marine Scotland News list - Thu, 2018-06-21 10:00

Essential help for premature and ill babies.

Women in agriculture

Marine Scotland News list - Thu, 2018-06-21 09:30

Advancing gender equality.

LFASS update

Marine Scotland News list - Thu, 2018-06-21 09:00

2019 support scheme outlined.

Raising a tobacco-free generation

Marine Scotland News list - Wed, 2018-06-20 16:16

Tobacco-control action plan published.

Offensive Weapons Bill

Marine Scotland News list - Wed, 2018-06-20 14:42

Barriers on selling knives to under 18s online.

New Social housing safety

Marine Scotland News list - Wed, 2018-06-20 14:00

Sprinkler systems to protect against fire.

Stability, certainty and simplicity in rural support

Marine Scotland News list - Wed, 2018-06-20 13:39

Public consultation launched.

Reading Challenge winners

Marine Scotland News list - Wed, 2018-06-20 11:00

First Minister presents awards to schools.

Land ownership

Marine Scotland News list - Wed, 2018-06-20 10:11

New register will improve transparency.

What’s at our Disposal? The latest from the research vessel Alba na mara

Marine Scotland Blog - Wed, 2018-06-20 10:00

Survey: 0918A

Duration: 18 June – 1 July 2018

Sampling Gear: TV drop frame, TV winch and cable, 2 x day grabs and RoxAnn.


  1. To undertake grab, underwater television (UTV) and RoxAnn surveys of sea disposal sites and assess the condition of the seabed, identify the predominant benthic epifauna species, and the distribution of man-made debris. Some of the disposal sites are added as contingency.
  2. The disposal sites identified for survey are:Ullapool, Isle of Eigg, Canna, LochMaddy, Stornoway, Lochinver, Scrabster, Scrabster Extension, Thurso, Wick, Fraserburgh, Aberdeen, Stonehaven, Arbroath, Montrose.In addition, a potential site at Uig may be surveyed between Ullapool and Isle of Eigg sites.It is not anticipated that all sites will be surveyed. However, the list allows for contingencies based on weather conditions.
  3. Sediment samples for Objectives 1 will be analysed for chemical and physical parameters.
  4. Drop-down TV survey of Caithness – Moray cable, working from north (Noss Head end) to south (Portgordon end).


Scientific staff and equipment will be transported to Ullapool for loading the vessel and set-up selected survey equipment. The Alba na Mara will depart Ullapool as soon as possible on 18 June, and proceed to the most proximal sea disposal site to start the work programme outlined in Objective 1.  Each sea disposal site will be surveyed in turn, subject to weather forecast, moving through the sites listed in Objective 2.  The scientific crew change, will occur on 25 June at a port TBC.  The Alba na Mara will then continue with the remaining sites detailed in Objective 2.  The survey of the C-M cable, as outlined in Objective 4, will be by drop-down TV survey and last a maximum of three days..

Once sites listed in Objective 2 and 4 have been surveyed, Alba na Mara will proceed to the unloading port detailed above.

Further Information:

The post What’s at our Disposal? The latest from the research vessel Alba na mara appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Scottish Annual Business Statistics 2016

Marine Scotland News list - Wed, 2018-06-20 09:30

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

£1.35 million for trauma training

Marine Scotland News list - Wed, 2018-06-20 09:30

New national programme to be created.

Scottish Crown Estate

Marine Scotland News list - Tue, 2018-06-19 17:21

Bill to give communities a stronger voice.

Funding for offshore wind

Marine Scotland News list - Tue, 2018-06-19 16:30

£2 million grant to support offshore innovation.

Protecting the Scottish Parliament

Marine Scotland News list - Tue, 2018-06-19 15:35

Minister calls for consent to be embedded in law.


Subscribe to Marine Scotland Information aggregator