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As we mentioned in one of our earlier blogs, 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.
This is Campbell, our key parasitologist. What’s one of them? Keep reading!
When he’s not at sea on a research vessel taking part in our busy schedule of surveys, or bobbing around Stonehaven on our catamaran, the Temora, taking water samples, he’s showing children his weird and whacky collection of beastie specimens!
What’s your career path been – how did you get here?
I have always been intrigued by fish and the aquatic environment as I grew up close to the river Spey in Moray and was at the riverside literally everyday either fishing or walking the dog and watching the wildlife. After leaving school I went to Aberdeen University and completed an honours degree in Aquaculture before joining Skretting in Invergordon in 1998 as a quality assurance lab technician (they manufacture fish feed for the trout and salmon aquaculture industries).
However, after 2 years looking at fish pellets, I decided I need a bigger challenge and spotted an advert in New Scientist for a job at the Fisheries Research Services (now Marine Scotland Science) as an assistant site manager for a research aquarium site at Aultbea on the west coast (now since closed). My main responsibility was to ensure the health and welfare of the fish kept there (salmon, 3 species of trout, char, cod, haddock, saithe, lemon sole and halibut to name but a few!) and to assist in the design and running of experiments by visiting scientists and students.
During this time I also met my now wife who worked in the field of sea lice, a marine ectoparasite of salmon and trout, and an area I was very much interested in. As my wife was nearing the end of her PhD it was clear there were no job opportunities for her on the west coast so I started looking for jobs in Aberdeen and was lucky when the Parasitologist role became available. Initially, much of the work was looking at the parasites of cod and haddock, thought to be the next big species in aquaculture, but I have been working heavily in the area of sea lice since 2005.
What made you decide to be involved in Outreach?
While carrying out my honours thesis I was lucky enough to get a placement at the lab with Dr Tim Bowden and Dr Ian Bricknell with input from the late, great Dr Tony Ellis. All these scientists took considerable time and effort to supervise and coach me in fish immunology, an area totally new to me, but one I enjoyed and resulted in a very good thesis mark. The Marine Lab also supported me in doing my PhD on a part-time basis, between 2003 and 2011 and as such, I feel it is almost the duty of any scientist to pass on their skills and knowledge to the next generation and allow them to develop their own areas of interest and investigate the wonder that is the aquatic environment.
What do you enjoy most about doing Outreach?
For me personally it is showing the work that my colleagues and I do to young people, most of whom have no idea about the types of work carried out by scientists in Marine Scotland. Also, I enjoy fielding questions and allowing them the wonder of seeing what life exists in even small amounts of seawater, or the looks of delighted disgust when I bring along my selection of fish parasites for them to examine under microscopes!
Would you encourage others to get involved in Outreach too?
Very much so as Outreach is rewarding on so many levels as not only do young people enjoy seeing the work we do but nothing is as rewarding as doing outreach work and receiving thank you messages just for taking the time to show them what it is you actually do. Unfortunately, I am also becoming old enough that some young people I have presented my work to at Outreach events have actually been to university and are now here at the lab – it must have been something I said!
The post Celebrating Science and Year of the Young Person with Dr Campbell Pert appeared first on Marine Scotland.
The generation of offshore energy is a rapidly growing sector internationally. Its expansion means competing for space in an already busy seascape, and as it develops it will have many potential impacts on established patterns of sea use, rights of access, and social and cultural value systems.
Effective marine management not only needs to balance the often-competing demands of existing and emerging uses, but also maintain the underlying capacity of the marine environment that supports them. To help mediate conflict, balance multiple objectives and move towards more sustainable decision-making, marine spatial planning (MSP) has emerged as the main tool – and Marine Scotland’s expertise has shared internationally with a book by the major academic publisher, Routledge. The book brings together the ecological, economic, and social implications of spatial conflict and covering all energy-generation types (wind, wave, tidal, oil, and gas), it explores the direct and indirect impacts the growth of offshore energy generation has on both the marine environment and the existing uses of marine space.
As the national authority for both offshore renewable energy and marine planning, Marine Scotland created the first statutory National Marine Plan in March 2015 and plans for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy in Scottish waters have been developed to explore how offshore renewable energy sources can contribute to meeting Scotland’s target of generating the equivalent of 100% of electricity demand from renewable sources. When approached by the authors of the book, Marine Scotland scientists Andronikos Kafas and Ian Davies were happy to share their experiences and provide scientific support on the subject of marine and sectoral planning.
Chapters of the book explore the main issues associated with offshore energy, and Marine Scotland were specifically involved in the chapter on the displacement of existing activities and the negative impacts it can have on marine species and ecosystems.
Other chapters discuss how the growth of offshore energy generation presents new opportunities for collaboration and co-location with other sectors such as the co-location of wild-capture fisheries and wind farms. The book integrates these issues and opportunities, and demonstrates the importance of holistic marine spatial planning for optimising the location of offshore energy-generation sites.
It also highlights the importance of stakeholder engagement in these planning processes and the role of integrated governance, with illustrative case studies from the United States, United Kingdom, northern Europe, and the Mediterranean. It also discusses trade-off analysis and decision theory and provides a range of tools and best practices to inform future planning processes.
Scientists from Marine Scotland Science (MSS) have recently been operating on Fraserburgh pelagic trawler Sunbeam (FR 487) to survey salmon smolts at various points on the Scottish east coast. Operating in the Moray Firth, Firths of Forth and Tay, MSS used a specially designed net for sampling very close to the surface.
The net incorporates video recording capability and checks for Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags on fish, which are essentially barcodes that give reliable data on specific animal movement. The net can be operated either open-ended, with no fish retained, or with a small cod end, to retain fish for genetic assignment to regions and in some cases rivers of origin. The survey went well and in accordance with the full programme designed for survey 0718H.
- Survey 0718H – Salmon Smolt surveys on the Sunbeam
- Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) Tags in the Study of Animal Movement
- Smolt Treatment & Returns Study
Our scientific work is at the heart of what we do and to reflect this, we have made some changes to our Senior Management and created the new post of a Chief Scientific Advisor for Marine (CSAM).
We are delighted that our former Head of Science, Professor Colin Moffat, has taken up that new post and his section, the Office of the Chief Scientific Advisor Marine (OCSAM), will provide independent science advice to inform our work across all policy areas; to champion the use of evidence to inform policy development and delivery; to act as an advocate, inside and outside Government, for Scotland’s research base.
Professor Moffat will work closely with the other Chief Scientific Advisors within the Scottish Government, the Heads of Analysis and others in associated organisations such as:
- Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH);
- Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA);
- Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC);
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA);
- Natural Resources Wales (NRW); and
- Northern Ireland Agri-Food Biosciences Institute (AFBI).
He will also look to develop active links within the research community in the UK, using the networks already established through the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS).
Speaking about the change Professor Moffat said: “I’m very excited about this role and look forward to engaging in a wide range of collaborative opportunities within the marine science community not only in Scotland, but around the rest of the UK and internationally. In addition, the other members of the OCSAM team will help us to ensure the continuing integrity of our evidence and data.
As previously announced on Twitter, the former Head of Science post is now Head of Marine Laboratories and Dr Ian Davies has taken up that role on an interim basis.
- Office of the Chief Scientific Advisor Marine
- Directory of Scientists – Professor Colin Moffat
- Marine Scotland Science Topic Sheet
- Marine Scotland website
- Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS)
Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:
Photo by Graham Black
Crown Copyright 2018
Marine Scotland Image Bank posted a photo:
Photo by Graham Black
Crown Copyright 2018
Survey: 0718H – MFV Sunbeam FR487
Duration: 04-16 May 2018
- Smolt trawl, Thyboron type 15vf pelagic trawl doors (6m2), Dyneema sweep rig and Fenders (dia 300mm with 215kg buoyancy) attached 4 per side of the trawl.
- Video frame/box incorporating pit tag detector.
- Self-contained underwater camera systems.
- To undertake smolt trawl surveys in and just outside the Moray Firth, and off the Firths of Tay and Forth.
Sunbeam will sail on 4 May and undertake shakedown tows to practice shooting/hauling the smolt gear and video box. Once Scientist-in-Charge (SiC) and skipper are happy the gear is operating correctly the vessel will make passage, depending on the weather, to either the Moray Firth or Tay/Forth areas to commence the smolt survey.
The smolt trawl is designed to operate with its headline held at the surface and the footrope at approximately 12m deep. The headline and top sweeps of the net are supported using 50 x 200 mm floats (headline) and 8 x 1400 mm long fender floats (top sweep). The trawl doors are designed to fish just below the surface (max depth 50-60 m) and buoyant Dyneema rope used throughout the sweep rig. The video frame is attached to the trawl using netting with supporting bridles and made neutrally buoyant using a combination of 275 mm and 200 mm floats. A rigging specification is given in Guidance note 1, below.
The surveys will build on the successful survey work in the Moray Firth in 2017, and will further investigate the migration routes of salmon smolts from Moray Firth rivers across the Moray Firth and carry out the first surveys of smolts off the Firths of Tay and Forth. The net requires a minimum depth of about 40 m for operation and is deployed in an arc, or arcs, so that the ship wash misses the net. Short tows of two hours or less will be carried out with a cod end in place and smolts retained for genetic assignment to rivers and/or regions of origin. The by-catch will be recorded by species. This year, a larger mesh inner net will be deployed within the cod end to keep larger fish separate from the smolts, so that they will be in better condition. The captured video and pit tag recordings will be used to identify where fish and pit tagged fish were caught on the tows. It is also likely that the net will also be deployed open ended at times, instead of using a cod end, potentially for longer tows, but not providing samples for genetic assignment. A combination of tows with and without the cod end in place may allow survey work to be carried out for up to 16 hours a day. All necessary licenses for the work will be in place. Indicative locations of tows are given in Guidance Note 2 (below).
Guidance Note 1. Smolt Trawl Rig Details
Trawl (4 panel constructed from PA netting):
- Mesh size (Full mesh in mm):
- Wings – 800
- Front/side panel sections – 800
- Lower cover/belly sections – 800
- Reducing 400-200-120-80-60 and end taper 40
- Straight extension – 40
- Frame lines and net opening:
- Headline length – 70.2m
- Side line length – 15.9m
- Footrope length – 59.8m
- Wing stretch length (nominal) – 62m
- Trawl tapered body stretched length (nominal) – 69.6m
- Straight extension stretched length – 8m
- Fishing circle – 224m
- Nominal net mouth opening at fishing circle (assumes meshes roped (hung) at 50% of full mesh size) – 844.8m2.
Sweep rig and otterboards:
- Sweeps – 150m x 28mm dia. Dyneema
- Backstrops – 15m x 28mm dia Dyneema
- Headline/footrope extensions – 3m x 13mm long-link chain
- Otterboards – Thyborøn type 15vf pelagic otterboards:
- Surface area – 6m2
- Weight (each otterboard) – 1000kg + 200kg additional (8 x 25kg)
- 50 x 200mm floats (each float 2.47kg buoyancy)
- 1 x Polyform (A2) H= 510mm Dia.= 300mm Buoyancy = 35kg
- Fenders (Blue Line JF2255):
- 1 per side at quarters – L = 1400mm Ø = 300mm buoyancy = 215kg
3 per side at wingends (attached to chain extensions) – L = 1400mm Ø = 300mm buoyancy = 215kg
Guidance Note 2. Indicative Locations of Tows