Blogs and News from Partners

Vessels in harbour sheltering from Storm Dennis

Marine Scotland Photos - Thu, 2021-01-14 15:07

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Vessels in harbour sheltering from Storm Dennis

Picture taken :copyright: Guy Ellis

Vessels in harbour sheltering from Storm Dennis

Marine Scotland Photos - Thu, 2021-01-14 15:07

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Vessels in harbour sheltering from Storm Dennis

Picture taken :copyright: Guy Ellis

Protecting Scotland’s seas

Marine Scotland Blog - Wed, 2021-01-13 09:42

Marine Scotland is the directorate of the Scottish Government responsible for the management of Scotland’s seas. It has operational responsibility for monitoring and ensuring compliance with marine regulations within the British Fishery Limits, where Scotland has devolved powers.

This includes work to deter and detect illegal fisheries activities, illegal discarding of catch, protection of territorial waters and vulnerable marine habitats, up to 200 nautical miles offshore of Scotland.

Scotland’s waters cover 62% of the UK’s domestic exclusive economic zone with Marine Scotland operating three marine protection vessels, two aircraft and a network of fishery offices to ensure effective monitoring and enforcement.

The MarRIB and Juraine Protection Vessels Jura, Minna and Hirta, and two Reims Cessna Caravan II F-406 aircraft (Watchdog Alpha and Watchdog Bravo), are tasked and deployed according to risk assessed operational requirements. During their patrols they gather information and monitor activity, as well as routinely board and inspect the catches and fishing gear of the fishing fleet at sea to ensure compliance with licence conditions and regulatory provisions. Any non-compliance is reported as appropriate to the prosecuting authorities.

 

Marine Scotland Compliance monitors the activity of Scottish fishing vessels in any waters and monitors all non-Scottish fishing vessels in Scotland’s waters, in near real-time, for regulatory compliance purposes.

The Fisheries Agreement negotiated between the EU and the UK Government following EU Exit means that EU vessels require a licence to fish in Scottish waters.

Following the end of the transition period and entering into the Fisheries Agreement with the EU, the UK must conduct its fisheries management and relations, as regards matters provided for in that Agreement, with the EU rather than directly with individual member states. This means that if EU vessels wish to fish in our territorial waters it would be for the EU as the coastal state to make that request during forthcoming annual negotiations on behalf of all its member states.

Marine Scotland is monitoring any breaches of licence conditions and is engaging constructively with EU partners to ensure the sustainable management of fish stocks is at the heart of this partnership working.

As part of planning for the end of the EU Exit transition period, Marine Scotland deployed two additional inshore patrol craft, increased aerial capabilities and advanced detection and imaging assets.

Background

Marine Scotland Compliance fleet and aircraft information

The post Protecting Scotland’s seas appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Aquatic Animal Health Technical Manager, closing date 14 January

Marine Scotland Blog - Tue, 2021-01-12 12:45

We are currently seeking applications for two Aquatic Animal Health Technical Managers within the Aquaculture and Fish Health Programme based in Aberdeen. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

The Aquaculture and Fish Health Programme supports a healthy, sustainable aquaculture industry and safeguards the health of wild fish stocks, through regulation, surveillance and scientific advice backed by high quality research. The Programme contributes towards the Scottish Government National Outcome: ‘We value and enjoy our built and natural environment and protect and enhance it for future generations’. For information on Scottish Government National Outcomes visit www.gov.scot/About/Performance/scotPerforms/outcomes. The Programme covers 35 staff including the Fish Health Inspectorate, disease diagnostics and research aquarium and relies on close working relationships with statisticians and epidemiologists within Marine Scotland Science.

The post involves coordinating and presenting scientific evidence and analysis of the operation of National and International controls for the spread of listed diseases within aquatic animals. The duties contribute to Scotland’s participation in the management of the UK Framework for Animal Health and Welfare and the operation of biosecurity and border controls that arise as a result of leaving the European Union.

Important Information Regarding Interviews

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview. In addition, a personal device of choice, which has the Skype for Business application downloaded. This will allow candidates to undertake the interview/assessment if selected. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the resourcing team via recruitment@gov.scot.

Further information for this job

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Robert Raynard at rob.raynard@gov.scot.

The post Vacancy: Aquatic Animal Health Technical Manager, closing date 14 January appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Guidance for anglers during Coronavirus

Marine Scotland Blog - Tue, 2021-01-05 16:47

The First Minister has announced further action to stem the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Following the announcement the Scottish Government introduced, from midnight on 5 January, and for the duration of January, a legal requirement to stay at home except for essential purposes. This is similar to the lockdown of March 2020.

The First Minister acknowledged that it is important for physical and mental well-being that we can get outdoors for fresh air and exercise as much as possible.  Given this, local outdoor recreation, sport or exercise is to be considered an appropriate reason for leaving home.  Unlike the lockdown last year, the frequency of outdoor exercise is not being limited.

Outdoor non-contact activities such as walking, cycling and golf are permitted for all age groups.

Angling is also permissible provided this is within a single household group, or the group contains no more than 2 people from 2 different households.  Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number.

You can travel for local outdoor sport or exercise such as angling but must stay within the more general requirements with regard to travel and ensure that you abide by the rules on meeting other households.  In general, stay as close to home as possible – within your local authority, or no more than 5 miles from the boundary – and stay away from crowded places.

Individuals should continue to follow the five principles behind the Scottish Government’s FACTS campaign:

  • F – wear a Face covering
  • A – Avoid crowded places
  • C – Clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • T – stay Two metre distance away from other people
  • S – Self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms (new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste)

Detailed guidance on safe conduct while angling is available on the Angling Scotland website and from Fisheries Management Scotland.

Club competitions, outings etc

Angling activity should be restricted to individuals, household groups or no more than 2 people from 2 households, suitably distanced.

Fishing competitions, club outings or group meetings, etc are not permitted under the current restrictions.

Sea angling

 Sea angling from the shore is allowed, provided that anglers comply with the more general requirements with regard to travel and the rules on meeting other households.

Sea angling from private boats with members of your own household is also allowed.

Again, sea angling should be practised as close to home as possible and no more than 5 miles beyond your local authority boundary.

Angling from charter boats is not currently permitted.

Travelling from other parts of the UK to fish in Scotland

This is not allowed under current rules in Scotland.

In addition, all holiday accommodation is closed to tourism. Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering can remain open for essential customers only.

The post Guidance for anglers during Coronavirus appeared first on Marine Scotland.

New website for Regional Inshore Fisheries Group Network

Marine Scotland Blog - Tue, 2021-01-05 12:59

A new website to provide fishers with a source of up to date information has been launched by Scotland’s Regional Inshore Fisheries Group (RIFG) network.

The website, will be regularly updated with input from the five nationwide groups – North and East Coast RIFG, West Coast RIFG, Outer Hebrides RIFG, Orkney Sustainable Fisheries and Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation. By accessing the site fishers will be able to view project documentation, access minutes of meetings and feed directly into agendas – all specific to their area.

Map of Scotland highlighting the website areas in various colours

Map of Scotland highlighting the website areas in various colours

The launch of the website is the latest part of Marine Scotland’s drive to support the evolution of the RIFGs, enabling them to become the main vehicle for evidence-based management in inshore waters.

The RIFG network was established in 2016 with the aim of improving the management of inshore fisheries and giving inshore commercial fishermen a strong voice in fisheries and wider marine management developments.

Jennifer Mouat, Chair, North and East Coast Regional Inshore Fisheries Group said: “As we move forward into a new era of fisheries management the Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups will be an integral part of connecting fisheries management and fishers.

“The new RIFG platform will allow a one stop shop for all RIFG information across the network of inshore fisheries groups making key information more accessible to all stakeholders. “

Background

The post New website for Regional Inshore Fisheries Group Network appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Brexit deal means drop in key fishing stocks

Marine Scotland Blog - Tue, 2020-12-29 11:30

The Brexit fisheries deal negotiated by the UK Government will mean a fall in the quantity of key fishing stocks landed by the Scottish fleet, according to Scottish Government analysis.

Scotland’s valuable staple fish stocks include Cod, Haddock, Whiting and Saithe. Far from having substantial increased opportunities in the future, the Scottish industry will have access to fewer of these fish than under the existing Common Fisheries Policy arrangements – even at the end of the five and half year phase-in period, according to the analysis.

These are the white fish stocks that a significant part of Scotland’s family-owned fishing fleet is dependent upon for their livelihoods and the shares even in five and a half years’ time, will still be less than their equivalents now. This also has a potential knock on effect for harbours, fish markets and processors – fewer fish caught means fewer being landed and sold on for processing in facilities all around Scotland.

Cod and Saithe landings will be hit particularly hard.

Pelagic landings (such as mackerel and herring) and some other stocks will see a modest gain.

At present Scottish boats land fish by a variety of means:

  • by catching quota that has been allocated to the Scottish industry
  • by leasing extra quota from other producers  that cannot or do not want to fish as much as they have been allocated for a particular stock
  • by swapping quotas of fish that we have and still need but other countries want more of

Leasing and swapping quota is required to allow vessels to operate legally in very complex mixed fisheries in the northern waters of the Scottish fishing zone.

Under the Brexit deal, the swapping of quotas with individual member states will no longer be allowed and leasing will be prohibitively expensive, reducing the quantity of fish in key stocks available for the Scottish industry to land.

stock Current situation (Average UK landing percentage of total EU and UK quota combined (using ref period 2015-19) Maximum percentage of total EU and UK quota available to UK under the deal Increased fishing opportunities North Sea Cod 63.5 57 no Rockall Cod 75 75 no West of Scotland Cod 81.2 81.2 no North Sea Haddock 92.5 84.2 no Irish Sea Haddock 54.2 56 yes West of Scotland Haddock 77.3 80.6 yes Rockall Haddock 88.4 85 no Celtic Sea Haddock 8.8 20 yes West of Scotland Saithe 47.1 51 yes North Sea Saithe 31.6 26 no North Sea Whiting 82.7 73.5 no West of Scotland Whiting 58.7 65.9 yes North Sea Hake 55.6 53.6 no

The amount of fish caught by the Scottish industry will also fall because a special scheme (called the Hague Preference) which gave Scottish boats extra quota has also been lost under the Brexit deal. An entitlement that was used every year and is a further loss of fishing quotas valued at over £9 million.

The UK Government also appears to have agreed to measures by the EU which will make no difference to Scottish fishing interests.  It has been suggested  that the EU will give up 25 per cent of its fish quota (in terms of value not tonnes) in UK waters, but as much of this quota was not actually caught by the EU, there is no potential gain here for our fishing industry in terms of getting access to stocks that were previously unavailable.

In the stocks where there has been a nominal increase in UK quota share, in the majority of cases the UK has only secured access to stocks where the EU was not currently fishing its full allocation.

For the UK side, some of the extra quota  negotiated will not be able to be landed – and will be so-called “paper fish”.  North Sea Sole is a stand-out example where the increase in share generates over £12 million in value for one species alone with a very high average price per tonne, but according to our analysis there is no ability to catch this additional fish in this particular fishery.

Worst of all, this new transitional arrangement may prove difficult to avoid becoming permanent.

A key UK Government objective was to avoid a permanent link between access to waters and access to markets. But according to the analysis that is exactly what has resulted in the agreement, since reductions in access to waters give the other party the right to impose tariff measures on fisheries products.  That could impact adversely on our aquaculture industry which is included in the international definition of fisheries products.

Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, said:

“The analysis we are publishing today of what the UK withdrawal agreement means for Scotland’s fishing interests is deeply troubling. Carried out by our internationally renowned fisheries specialists, it shows how Scotland’s interests are adversely impacted by the deal reached by the UK and the EU.

“Scottish coastal communities were told that any Brexit deal would mean a very large rise in fishing opportunities. In fact for the key stocks that the Scottish industry depends on, far from seeing a big increase,  there will actually be a fall in the quantity of fish they can land.

“We were assured that getting our own seat at the table as a coastal state in annual negotiations would result in gains for our fishing interests. Through this agreement, our ability to do that has been removed with the loss of leasing and swapping quota.

“We were also told that a red line for the UK Government was that the fisheries deal would not be tied to the overall trade deal. In fact fisheries is hardwired into the overall deal meaning any attempt to reduce EU access in future will lead to trade sanctions – hitting key Scottish industries like salmon producers.

“The Hague preference mechanism is another tool which we have now lost which helped increase available quota in key stocks in any given year – the UK Government did not even try to keep it available to us in the future.

“And the quota either being given up by the EU or negotiated as a win by the UK Government is of no worth nor value to Scottish fishing interests.

“This is a terrible outcome for Scotland’s coastal communities.  The small gains in quota for mackerel and herring are far outweighed by the impact of losses of haddock, cod and saithe – and that threatens to harm on shore jobs and businesses too linked to harbours, fish markets and processing facilities.  As our analysis shows, there is very little here to celebrate, and plenty to be worried about for the future of Scotland’s fishing interests.”

Mike Park, Chief Executive of the Scottish White Fish Producers Association, said:

“Setting politics aside, the members of SWFPA  are deeply aggrieved at the very challenging situation they now face for 2021.

“Whereas we have gained modest uplifts in  shares for some stocks the stark reality is that the demersal sector enter 2021 facing significant shortfalls across a range of key species, which is down to the fact that we can no longer enter into direct swaps with colleagues in Europe.

“In addition,  the issue of sovereignty and our future ability to negotiate additional shares after the five and a half year window would seem clouded by so much complexity that it is difficult at this time to see how the UK government can use its newly recovered sovereignty to improve the situation of my members.”

Background

There are three levels of cross-retaliation specifically in fisheries:

(1) If access is not granted in the post 2025 annual negotiations, compensation by removal of preferential tariffs in respect of “fishery products”. Our understanding is that “fishery products” includes aquaculture, and this would be consistent with the system of  WTO definitions, used elsewhere in the agreement  Aquaculture is an important and valuable Scottish industry. If any attempt was made therefore to reduce EU access, this industry would be hit, making it very unlikely that access arrangements will change once the phase-in period is over.

There is wording making this proportionate to the economic and societal impact, and with binding independent arbitration:

‘Following a notification by a Party (“host Party”) under Article FISH.8(5)[Access to waters], the other Party (“fishing Party”) may take compensatory measures commensurate to the economic and societal impact of the change in the level and conditions of access to waters. Such impact shall be measured on the basis of reliable evidence and not merely on conjecture and remote possibility. Giving priority to those compensatory measures which will least disturb the functioning of this Agreement, the fishing Party may suspend, in whole or in part, access to its waters and the preferential tariff treatment granted to fishery products under Article GOODS.5[Prohibition and customs duties].’

(2) Remedial measures in the event of alleged failure to comply with obligations under the Fisheries  Heading, also subject to proportionality and independent arbitration, but with scope to take tariff measures on any goods, and to suspend the whole trade heading of the agreement.

(3) Either side can terminate the Fisheries Part of the agreement, automatically also terminating the trade, aviation and road transport headings (though not all aviation).

The post Brexit deal means drop in key fishing stocks appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Scientist in Charge Pathway in Action

Marine Scotland Blog - Tue, 2020-12-29 09:40

The SIC (Scientist-In-Charge) Pathway is a new initiative at Marine Scotland Science to provide a structured approach to training new SICs and hopefully, in the long-term, achieve a more gender balanced SIC pool (or at least representative of the sea-going staff pool). This initiative is a direct result of our Athena-SWAN work and includes co-SICs shadowing more experienced SICs, and, in the future, training and scientific logbooks and support networks.

The oceanography group has just concluded its December hydro cruise on MRV Scotia to the Faroe-Shetland-Channel (cruise 1920S), investigating the hydrography in this important region where cold Arctic-origin water is flowing south-west and warm Atlantic water is flowing north-east towards the Arctic. The SIC Pathway component of co-SIC was implemented on this trip where the SIC included the co-SIC in its meetings with the captain, pre- and post-cruise planning and general tasks as SIC. This kind of on the job learning and seeing how decisions (and back-up plans) are made is valuable experience for scientists interested in becoming a SIC themselves in the future.

View of the sun setting in clouds. Taken from Scotia deck

View of the sun setting in clouds from Scotia deck

December cruises generally head to the Northern North Sea and the Faroe-Shetland-Channel. On the recent cruise we included a side trip to Loch Ewe to deploy a met-ocean data buoy as part of the Scottish Coastal Observatory (SCObs) and the COMPASS project. We successfully deployed the new, large, shiny buoy at our long-term monitoring site, where it immediately started transmitting meteorological and oceanographic data. Mission data buoy deployment successfully accomplished.

We unfortunately had some mechanical issues on the ship which cost us some time for repairs and waiting for a new part. Challenges on a research trip in December include bad weather and also mechanical issues and so flexibility, calm nerves and lots of back-up plans are required. A good experience for a co-SIC…

Berit Rabe, Inshore Physical Oceanographer

 

The post Scientist in Charge Pathway in Action appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Fisheries Data Manager, Aberdeen, closing date 14 January

Marine Scotland Blog - Tue, 2020-12-22 16:30

We are currently seeking applications for a Fisheries Data Manager within the Marine Scotland Science based in Aberdeen. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

This is a key post in the Sampling Design & Analysis Group of the Fisheries Data Programme. The post has arisen due to the increased need for robust scientific fisheries data for Scotland, to support fisheries management and policy decision making as a result of Brexit, and the corresponding requirement for increased expertise within these areas. The duties include the extraction, processing and analysis of biological sampling data to provide input data to fisheries stock assessments.

Important Information Regarding Interviews

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview as well as a personal device of choice with an account registered to the ‘Zoom’ app by which you can undertake the interview/assessment if selected. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds to undertake the interview. This will then ensure that there are no issues incurred during the interview.

Further Information for this Job

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Liz Clarke who can be reached at Liz.clarke@gov.scot

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the Recruitment Team via recruitment@gov.scot

The post Vacancy: Fisheries Data Manager, Aberdeen, closing date 14 January appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Otolith Technician, Aberdeen, closing date 7 January

Marine Scotland Blog - Mon, 2020-12-21 15:30

We are currently seeking applications for a Otolith Technician (0.5 FTE) within the Marine Scotland based in Aberdeen. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

This is a key post in the Data Collection Group of the Fisheries Data Programme. The duties reflect the need to develop essential skills in age determination of fish using microscopy techniques and thereby maintain Marine Scotland Science’s capacity and reputation to provide data for the use in stock assessments for quota species important to the Scottish fleet. No experience of otolith reading is required as training will be provided. Marine Scotland is committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce and we value the contribution which those returning to work following a career break may be able to offer.

Important Information Regarding Interviews

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview as well as a personal device of choice with an account registered to the ‘Zoom’ app by which you can undertake the interview/assessment if selected. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds to undertake the interview. This will then ensure that there are no issues incurred during the interview.

Further Information for this Job

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Adrian Tait who can be reached at Adrian.tait@gov.scot

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the Resourcing Team via recruitment@gov.scot

The post Vacancy: Otolith Technician, Aberdeen, closing date 7 January appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Sea lice reporting to be mandatory

Marine Scotland Blog - Mon, 2020-12-21 15:00

A new Order was laid in the Scottish Parliament on 21 December which supports the Scottish Government’s implementation of sea lice policy and management of sea lice on fish farms.

Its provisions introduce a step change in sea lice reporting. It requires average weekly female sea lice numbers per fish to be reported to Scottish Government one week in arrears, in place of current arrangements which require reporting only where specific levels are met or exceeded.

The additional information will help the Fish Health Inspectorate to monitor and enforce policy on sea lice management. The data will be published to promote transparency.

As well as making the reporting of average sea lice numbers mandatory, the Order will require a reason for no count to be given and will refer to the penalties for not doing so.

The policy was developed through the Farmed Fish Health Working Group and a six week consultation on the new Order was held with relevant parties including the farmed fish sector, regulators, wild salmon interests, environmental interests and professional veterinarians.

Further Information

 

The post Sea lice reporting to be mandatory appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Fisheries Observer/Data Collector, Ullapool, closing date 7 January

Marine Scotland Blog - Mon, 2020-12-21 14:15

We are currently seeking applications for an Fisheries observer/data collector within Marine Scotland in Ullapool or Kinlochbervie. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

The Data Collection (DC) Group consists of 20 full-time scientists and is one of the three constituent groups within the Fisheries Data Programme of Marine Scotland Science. The responsibilities of the DC group is to primarily focus on the collection of a wide-range of fishery data from various stock areas and sources, which includes market sampling, sea going commercial observer data collection, fish age determination and scientific cruise survey participation.

This is a key post in the Data Collection Group of the Fisheries Data Programme. The duties reflect the need to develop essential skills in fish and shellfish sampling and age determination (where relevant) and thereby maintain Marine Scotland Science’s capacity to collect data and perform stock assessments for quota and non-quota species important to the Scottish fleet. Applicants must be capable of and willing to work at sea on board commercial fishing and research vessels. The post-holder will be required to drive to remote locations around Scotland and, on occasion, to work unsociable hours.

Important Information Regarding Interviews

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview. In addition, a personal device of choice, which has the Skype for Business application downloaded.  This will allow candidates to undertake the interview/assessment if selected. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the resourcing team via recruitment@gov.scot.

Further information for this job

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Nabeil Salama at Nabeil.Salama@gov.scot

The post Vacancy: Fisheries Observer/Data Collector, Ullapool, closing date 7 January appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Fisheries Observer/Data Collector, Aberdeen, closing date 6 January

Marine Scotland Blog - Mon, 2020-12-21 12:30

We are currently seeking applications for a Fisheries observer/data collector within Marine Scotland based in Aberdeen. This is a 12 month fixed term and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

This is a fixed term appointment associated with funding until March 2021. Extension of the post is dependent on funding continuation. This post is in the Data Collection Group of the Fisheries Data Programme. The duties reflect the need to develop essential skills in fish and shellfish sampling and age determination (where relevant) and thereby maintain Marine Scotland Science’s capacity to collect data and perform stock assessments for quota and non-quota species important to the Scottish fleet. Applicants must be capable of and willing to work at sea on board commercial fishing and research vessels. The post-holder will be required to drive to remote locations around Scotland and, on occasion, to work unsociable hours.

Important Information Regarding Interviews

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview. In addition, a personal device of choice, which has the Skype for Business application downloaded.  This will allow candidates to undertake the interview/assessment if selected. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the resourcing team via recruitment@gov.scot.

Further Information for this Job

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Nabeil Salama at Nabeil.Salama@gov.scot.

The post Vacancy: Fisheries Observer/Data Collector, Aberdeen, closing date 6 January appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 launched

Marine Scotland Blog - Mon, 2020-12-21 11:25

A new online platform which assesses the condition of Scotland’s marine environment and the human activity it supports has been launched.

More than 250 scientists have contributed to Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 which brings together data from 183 studies to provide an up-to-date review of Scotland’s seas.

The assessments found that progress is being made to improve the health of Scotland’s seas. It also found that:

  • progress is being made to reduce the levels of nutrients and contaminants in our seas
  • the marine economy is providing significant economic and social benefits to coastal communities while the growth of industries like offshore wind, wave and tidal energy are of increasing importance to the Scottish economy
  • Marine Protected Areas and measures to tackle marine litter need more time to be fully effective.
  • climate change is the most critical factor affecting our seas and impacts on coastal flooding, erosion and marine species
  • collaboration with coastal communities, industries, public authorities and international partners is essential to improve the state of Scotland’s seas

The findings will be used to inform the forthcoming review of Scotland’s National Marine Plan and the development of the Blue Economy Action Plan. They will also help inform future management of the Marine Protected Area network.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 places Scotland at the forefront of international work in this field and provides a comprehensive review of the health of our seas. It brings together data on our marine plants, animals and industries setting out where we can better support our marine environment and to informing how we manage the sustainable shared use of the sea by a range of marine industries.

“The Assessment finds progress is being made as we balance the sustainable development of emerging and established industries with protections for our marine environment. It also highlights the very real impact climate change is having on our seas.

“Last week we published our Climate Change Plan update setting out over 100 new policies to set us on track to a just transition to net zero, as well as our Future Fisheries Management Strategy, which sets out our vision for Scotland to be a world class fishing nation, delivering responsible and sustainable fisheries management

“Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 will be an essential resource as we continue to deepen our understanding of the marine environment, together with our international partners, to deliver clean, healthy and biologically diverse seas which can help to sustainably grow our Blue Economy and continue to tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.”

Background

 Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 can be accessed via the Marine Scotland information portal. It is a Programme for Government commitment 2019/2020.

This peer-reviewed scientific assessment has been produced by the Scottish Government, NatureScot, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland. It builds on the data first collected in Scotland’s Marine Atlas 2011.

The Future Fisheries Management Strategy and updated Climate Change Plan 2018-2032 are available to view on the Scottish Government website.

 

The post Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 launched appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Christmas creel tree. Scotia in the background

Marine Scotland Photos - Thu, 2020-12-17 15:50

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Christmas creel tree. Scotia in the background

Waiting around Christmas creel tree with Scotia in the background near Ullapool.
Photo by Karen Ottar, used with permission.

Scottish winter from the MPV Hirta

Marine Scotland Photos - Mon, 2020-12-07 13:06

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Scottish winter from the MPV Hirta

Photographed by Mike Derrick

Crown copyright

Marine Scotland 2020

Scottish winter from the MPV Hirta

Marine Scotland Photos - Mon, 2020-12-07 13:06

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Scottish winter from the MPV Hirta

Photographed by Mike Derrick

Crown copyright

Marine Scotland 2020

Scottish winder from the MPV Hirta

Marine Scotland Photos - Mon, 2020-12-07 13:06

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Scottish winder from the MPV Hirta

Photographed by Mike Derrick

Crown copyright

Marine Scotland 2020

Scottish winter from the MPV Hirta

Marine Scotland Photos - Mon, 2020-12-07 13:06

Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:

Scottish winter from the MPV Hirta

Photographed by Mike Derrick

Crown copyright

Marine Scotland 2020

Uncovering secrets of marine life using automated image identification

Marine Scotland Blog - Wed, 2020-12-02 13:00
Pennatula phosphorea, phosphorescent sea pens. Crown copyight

Pennatula phosphorea, phosphorescent sea pens. Crown copyright

It’s not easy to learn about what is going on under the surface of the ocean, but a new study is exploring how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help Marine Scotland uncover the secrets under our seas.

Published as part of the Scottish Marine Research Energy (ScotMER) Programme the new report considers how Marine Scotland could harness AI technology to get better datasets and information that complement the wider research around offshore renewable energy and support decision-making.

The use of underwater video as a method of monitoring salmon in rivers and at sea is becoming widely used as a non-invasive method of data collection.

Salmon in trap inside a trawl. Crown copyright

Salmon in trap inside a trawl. Crown copyright

Video is already used for numerous other purposes in relation to offshore renewables, such as characterising the habitats and species on the seabed before a development takes place, and monitoring the collision risk with a tidal device.

This report assesses the current state of the technology, the most appropriate software platforms to develop automated image analysis and demonstrates that application of such technology is possible with underwater video used at Marine Scotland Science (MSS).

Further development of this technology in the future will mean a large element of detection and identification will be automated and there will be fast and accurate methods of identifying features of conservation interest.

If you would like to know more please come to the Automated Imaging workshop at the ScotMER symposium at 2pm today (Wednesday 2 December).

 

Further Information

Automated Identification of Fish and Other Aquatic Life in Underwater Video

Main picture details: Nephrops norwegicus, Nephrops. Crown copyright

 

 

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