Marine Scotland Blog

Subscribe to Marine Scotland Blog feed Marine Scotland Blog
Scottish Government Blog
Updated: 16 min 34 sec ago

Blue Carbon in the Marine Ecosystem

7 hours 52 min ago
MRV Scotia

Survey: 1019S Programme

Duration: 22-31 July 2019

Objectives:
  1. Sediment sampling in the Moray Firth (grabs and cores).
  2. Sediment sampling along transect from Moray Firth to Fladen Ground (grabs and cores).
  3. Sediment sampling on the Fladen Ground (grabs and cores).
  4. Sediment sampling along transect from Fladen to Pentland Firth (grabs and cores).
  5. Gravity coring in Loch Eriboll.
  6. Sediment sampling in North Minch and Sound of Sleat (grabs and cores).
  7. Sediment sampling in sea lochs east of Skye (Lochs Nevis, Hourn and Alsh).
  8. Water sampling at each grab/core station and on transit (surface and bottom).
Procedure:

This survey will carry out research affiliated to Scotland’s Blue Carbon Forum, a research area with significant ministerial support and referenced in the 2017-18 Programme for Government. The current focus revolves around measuring the ability for various habitats to sequester carbon, understand how it is stored for the long term, and builds an evidence base on the effects that human activities may have on these processes.

The majority of the work is seabed sediment sampling using grabs and cores, in various habitats and regimes of anthropogenic disturbance (e.g. fishing grounds, sea lochs).

Once the vessel has departed Aberdeen and, after all vessel drills have been completed, the vessel will head for the first sampling location in the Moray Firth.

The order in which each sampling location will be collected will be agreed each day with the Captain, Fishing Master, and Scientist-in-Charge (SiC).

Sampling will be undertaken as per the objectives above and as weather dictates.

Pockmarks – University of Stirling. Regions in North Minch and south of Skye are in range of this survey.

(Pockmarks represent an important marker for sites of blue carbon and act as gateways for it to re-enter the carbon cycle. More information about Pockmarks can be found on this blog.)

 

 

Further Information:

 

The post Blue Carbon in the Marine Ecosystem appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Fishery Officer (closing date – 20 August 2019)

9 hours 32 min ago

We are currently seeking applications for Fishery Officers within Marine Scotland Compliance, based at various coastal locations in Scotland.  This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the B1 pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the criteria below will be invited to the interview.

You must:

  • Be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of the Scottish fishing industry, such as how the Scottish fleet is structured, Scotland’s key fisheries, how they are regulated and the key challenges that they are currently facing.
  • Have excellent organisational skills to manage a varied workload and to meet targets in a flexible manner so to progress tasks with minimal supervision.
  • Show an ability to communicate effectively to colleagues and to a wide range of stakeholders

The post can involve significant office based administration work and use of a broad range of IT applications, including Microsoft word, excel and outlook in addition to some bespoke IT applications.

In addition, due to the remote locations of landing ports a considerable amount of driving is involved therefore a full valid driving licence that enables the candidate to drive in the UK is required. However, the Scottish Government will consider proposals put forward by the applicant to carry out the duties by other means.

Applicants should note that this role includes carrying out visits to various types of establishments in all weather conditions.  a willingness to carry out these visits is a pre-requisite for the posts.

Further information

The post Vacancy: Fishery Officer (closing date – 20 August 2019) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Getting to know the Herring and Sprat

Fri, 2019-07-19 15:21
MRV Scotia

Survey: 0919S Programme

Duration: 27 June – 19 July 2019

Sampling Gear:
  • Midwater trawls PT160 x 3
  • Demersal trawl (BT237)
  • Scanmar trawl eye sensor
  • SIMRAD FS70 net sonde x 2
  • RBR-Concerto CTD with Dissolved Oxygen probe
  • Water sampler for collecting water samples from bottom of CTD dips
  • GoPro cameras x 2 with underwater housings and lights and frame
Objectives:
  • Conduct an acoustic survey to estimate the abundance and distribution of herring in the north western North Sea and north of Scotland between 58º30’-62ºN and from the shelf edge to 2ºE, excluding Faroese waters.
  • Obtain biological samples by trawling with pelagic and demersal trawl for echosounder trace identification.
  • Obtain samples of herring and sprat for biological analysis, including age, length, weight, sex, maturity and ichthyophonus infection throughout the survey area.
  • Collect samples and data for stock identity determination of herring. Photos and otoliths for morphometric stock ID analysis for herring caught west of 4 ºW; tissue samples for genetic analysis from herring throughout the survey area.
  • Use GoPro cameras mounted in the net and on a drop frame to further aid in species identification in the echogram scrutiny process.
  • Obtain hydrographic data for comparison with the horizontal and vertical distribution of herring and sprat.
  • Obtain dissolved oxygen vertical water column profiles for comparison with occurrence of prominent 38kHz scattering layer as part of Aberdeen University Hons student project.
  • Collect near sea bed dissolved oxygen measurements for Marine Scotland Science (MSS) monitoring programme.
Procedure:

The vessel will depart Aberdeen and make passage to Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, where calibration of all echosounders will take place (approximately 8-12 hours at anchor).

Following calibration the vessel will go to the first transect to the east and follow a pattern of parallel transects running east/west, at normal steaming speed (10.5 knots), progressing northwards. The whole survey area is bounded by 58º30’-62ºN and 02ºE to the 200 m contour. Transect spacing is 15 nm. This may be adapted during the survey to maximize area coverage given the time available. The proposed survey design is shown in Figure 1.Transects-to-be-completed-by-Scotia-0919S

Acoustic data will be collected at four frequencies (18, 38, 120 and 200 kHz) between two and four times per day at any time between 03:00 and 23:00.  Fish shoals seen on the echosounder will be identified using either a pelagic (PT160) or demersal trawl (BT237) in consultation between fishing master and scientific staff.

Samples of all species caught will be measured for length to partition the echo integral amongst species and size classes for target strength functions. Individual herring, sprat and mackerel will also be weighed to establish a length-weight relationship. Otoliths will be collected from a sub-sample of the herring according to the following length stratified scheme to determine age:

  • two per 0.5 cm class below 22 cm;
  • five per 0.5 cm class from 22.5-27.5 cm; and
  • 10 per 0.5 cm class for 28.0 cm and above.

For each herring in the sub-sample the state of maturity, gonad weight, liver weight, whole and gutted weight, presence of food in the stomach as well as the presence of Icthyophonus infection will be recorded. The maturity scale used throughout the survey will be the Scottish eight-stage scale.

Genetic sampling of herring for stock discrimination purposes will be carried out on selected hauls throughout the survey area.

Where sprat is encountered five per 0.5cm length class will be sampled for age, weight, sex and maturity.

In the area west of 4ºW, in addition to the above, random sampling of 120 fish above 24 cm length will be carried out for each haul with photographs taken for morphometric stock identification analysis and a tissue sample taken for genetic analysis. Otoliths from these fish will, subsequent to aging, be made available for morphometric analysis. After photographing them, and where possible, these randomly sampled fish will make up part of the standard sampling for herring. Additional fish will be collected to ensure the relevant numbers of fish are collected per strata for acoustic data analysis.

A GoPro camera and underwater lights will be mounted in the trawl to aid species identification by delivering additional information on composition of the catch. A GoPro camera may also be deployed manually on a small drop frame to investigate the feasibility of using this technique to verify species composition of echosounder traces in untrawlable areas.

A vertical hydro dip to collect temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen measurements will be carried out immediately following trawls this is based on the requirement to achieve one station in each ICES rectangle.

Bottom water samples for calibrating salinity sensors will be collected using water sampler attached to the CTD wire and surface water samples will be collected from continuous flow tap in Fish house.  Water samples will also be collected separately for calibrating the dissolved oxygen probe at selected stations.

 

Further Information:

 

The post Getting to know the Herring and Sprat appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Surveying in the Moray Firth Wind Farm Sites

Wed, 2019-07-17 09:00

Marine Scotland Science (MSS) colleagues and University of Aberdeen (UoA) postgraduate students set sail on the Alba na Mara to undertake a multi-disciplinary survey within the Moray Firth wind farm sites from the 8th – 12th of June 2019.  The aim of this survey was to characterise the distribution of the prey species (fish schools, zooplankton patches) across the Smith Bank; in relation to data available on top predator distribution. The data collected will complement the BOWL post-construction digital aerial surveys for seabirds (summer 2019) and UoA studies being conducted as part of the Moray Firth Marine Mammal Monitoring Programme (MMMP).

 Location of the sampling/surveying activities completed during the 0919A survey

Figure 1: Location of the sampling/surveying activities completed during the 0919A surveyTime permitting, this survey aimed also to sample plankton specifically in the vicinity of recent piling events.

The areas targeted by this study include:

  • Principally, the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd. (BOWL) which is fully constructed;
  • Moray East Offshore Windfarm (MEOW) which is under construction; and
  • Moray West Offshore Windfarm (MWOW) which is still to begin construction

Data collected during this survey will support and be analysed as part of one of the visiting student’s Marine Collaboration Research Forum (MarCRF) PhD thesis, entitled: “Assessing responses of top predators to offshore windfarm development”. MarCRF is a cross-disciplinary initiative developed between the UoA and MSS with the aim to facilitate evidence-based, relevant science that supports Marine Scotland policy.

A number of data collection approaches were used to capture the information relevant to predator and prey interactions within the wind farms:

 University of Aberdeen, 2019.

Figure 2: Seabirds roosting on one of the BOWL wind turbines during the 0919A survey. Photo credit: University of Aberdeen, 2019.

  • A pelagic fishing net (PT 154) was used to catch mid-water sandeels
  • A plankton sampling net composed of two separate 40 cm cylinders with different mesh sizes (200 µm and 68 µm), knows as the ‘bongo net’.
  • Hydrographic equipment to capture temperature, salinity and depth as well as water sampling equipment to investigate the phytoplankton at the bottom and middle of the water column.
  • Echo-sounder on three frequencies (38, 120 and 200 kHz) to capture acoustic traces of mid water fish species.
  • Visual systematic surveying for seabirds.

So, plenty of activity was planned for a short amount of time. Luckily the weather turned out to be ideal for the whole survey and each of the intended surveying activities were performed a number of times.

The final tally of sampling activities came to:

  • 5 echo-sounder transects completed;
  • One transect was repeated (transect 5);
  • 4 mid water fish hauls;
  • 15 plankton hauls (live/dead collection)
    (1 plankton haul during a piling event);
  • 9 seabed water samples;
  • 9 mid-water samples; and
  • 6 full seabird (including marine mammals when sighted) transects.

A range of marine life was seen, and thanks to the eagle eyes of the Alba’s captain and his crew there were even a few minke whale spotted. The massive wind turbines within which we surveyed provided quite a unique backdrop for this trip.

Alba na Mara returned safely to Fraserburgh harbour on the evening of the 11th June, just before the weather turned bad. Timing really is everything.

 University of Aberdeen, 2019.

Figure 3: Visual seabird and marine mammal survey within BOWL wind farm. Photo credit: University of Aberdeen, 2019.

Further Information:

The post Surveying in the Moray Firth Wind Farm Sites appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Motorman 1, closing date 30 July

Tue, 2019-07-02 13:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Motorman within Marine Scotland based on board one of our Marine Patrol or Marine Research Vessels. 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 Marine Patrol Vessels are Minna, Jura and Hirta. These vessels carry out patrols which normally last 21 days. The Research Vessels are Alba Na Mara and Scotia. Research cruises vary in length but generally are no more than 22 days. All vessels are double manned, and the work pattern is normally trip on/trip off basis.

 

Qualifications Required:

  • Engine Room Watch Rating Certificate of Competency
  • All STCW qualifications
  • Valid ENG 1 (Unrestricted)
  • Security Duties Certificate

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be sifted out.

 

Essential Criteria:

  1. Experience in maintaining a high level of cleanliness in the engine room and external compartments.
  2. Familiarity with all engine room machinery and the daily checks required to maintain them in a safe and serviceable condition.
  3. Experience of working within a close knit engineering team, assisting with engineering tasks as required to ensure safe and efficient running of the engine room.
  4. Experience with assisting in bunkering fuel and lube oils, demonstrating an appreciation of the lSM system and appropriate anti pollution measures.

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, Jim Cahill on 0131 244 3319 or by email  jim.cahill@gov.scot.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the Resourcing Team on 0131 244 8500 or via recruitment@gov.scot.

 

Further Information for this Job:

The post Vacancy: Motorman 1, closing date 30 July appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Mackerel and Horse Mackerel Egg Survey

Tue, 2019-07-02 10:00

MFV Altaire
Survey 0319H Programme

 

Duration: 1-23 July 2019

 

Fishing/Sampling Gear: Gulf VII plankton sampler, vessels own pelagic trawl.

 

Objectives:

  1. To carry out mackerel and horse mackerel egg survey (ICES Triennial Survey) within sampling Period 7 of the 2016 MEGS survey plan along the NE Atlantic shelf and slope in the area from approximately 47o N to 58o30N (see Figure 1).

 

  1. To collect adult fish samples, by trawling, for atresia and fecundity analysis back at the laboratory.

 

Procedures:

The vessel will be loaded from Ullapool late on the morning of 1 July and during the afternoon will proceed down through the Minch towards the first plankton stations west of Barra Head at 56o45N in time for early morning on 2 July.  Ideally, plankton stations will be taken west along the line until zero eggs are found and from there the vessel will continue surveying to the south.  This Period 7 survey represents the final survey in the 2019 schedule and will attempt to cover the whole of the spawning area for both mackerel and horse mackerel.  This is an extremely challenging task and as such the main priority will be to ensure that the remaining concentrations of spawning are sampled adequately.  Its extent will, therefore, be largely determined by the observed findings of the three vessels surveying in Period 6.  Figure 1 represents the area surveyed during this temporal period in 2016 and is likely to reflect pretty closely the area that will be covered during the forthcoming survey although just to reiterate the actual extent (longitudinal as well as latitudinal) will be dictated by the results received from the previous survey period that is currently being undertaken. Once these have been received a definite survey plan will be drafted that will aim to capture the bulk of any remaining spawning activity and within the time allocated to MSS for this survey.  Due to the size of the area latitudinal transect spacing will almost certainly be at 1o intervals with stations being sampled at 30′ intervals on the E/W transects normally at the 15’ and 45’.  Plankton stations will be taken using the Gulf VII sampler with mounted CTD which will record salinity and temperature during the tow.  The plankton stations will require the vessel to deploy the sampler at and maintain a speed of four knots.  The sampler will then be lowered at a steady rate (6m/min) from the plankton crane to within 5 m of the seabed or 200 m – whichever is shallower.  The sampler will then be recovered at the same speed.  Once aboard, plankton samples will be washed from the sampler net, fixed in formalin and scored for egg abundance.  Trawl samples will be taken at the discretion of the scientist in charge.  There should be a maximum of ten trawls for the whole survey, and will usually be taken on the continental shelf or near the shelf edge.

 

After completing the southernmost transects of the survey area Altaire will put in for a mid-survey break most likely in either Cork or Falmouth around 13/14 July.  Altaire will then proceed north and west to complete the remaining survey transects before returning to Ullapool for unloading on the morning of 23 July 2019.  All of the sampling gear as well as the samplers, sampling container and wire for deploying the sampler will also be unloaded and returned back to Aberdeen.

The post Mackerel and Horse Mackerel Egg Survey appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Nephrops Burrowing Complexes; Part Two

Fri, 2019-06-28 14:33

The Nephrops TV survey continued through the South Minch without any issues and experienced some impressive sunsets. Due to a poor weather forecast, the vessel made way for Stanton Bank a little earlier than originally planned and recovered/deployed a COMPASS mooring in the south of the region (which had an even larger squid cluster than the earlier mooring!), before heading north and completing a number of TV stations and a trawl, the first at Stanton since 2007.

A long steam east to Ardnamurchan then followed, accompanied by a number of minke whales, then on to Garvellachs to recover another COMPASS mooring.

All went well and this work was followed by a journey through the Sound of Islay and into the Sound of Jura where all the TV stations and a trawl were completed without any problems. As with earlier trawls, DNA samples were taken from the skate caught in the trawl along with photographs of their intricate eyes (see main picture). As well as all the biological measurements taken from the Nephrops, they were also lined up on the fish house conveyor belt and filmed as they passed under the Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) cameras, providing data to calibrate the carapace lengths derived by algorithms on the REM system and the measurements taken by the scientists on board (see attached photograph).

The vessel then headed around to the southerly stations in the Clyde.

Normally this area is only surveyed at the weekend when the trawlers remain in port and creel vessels are active, resulting in less disturbance of the seabed and better visibility to carry out the survey. But due to the weather and the timing of the half landing, the TV work had to be carried out on a Thursday. Despite this, the water clarity was surprisingly good in the south and up through the Kilbranan Sound, although it did deteriorate on the east side of Arran – so a trawl was carried out before heading for a very wet half landing in Belfast.

Once the vessel returned to sea, the remaining stations in the Clyde were completed before trawling off Ailsa Craig and then heading to the TV stations around the small isles, south of Skye, where the vessel remained for a further day before heading back to the North Minch to complete the stations around Raasay and off the mainland and recovering the last COMPASS mooring of Stoer Head.

 Further Information:

 

The post Nephrops Burrowing Complexes; Part Two appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Electronic Technician: closing date 23 July

Thu, 2019-06-27 11:00

We are currently seeking applications for an Electronic Technician within the Directorate for 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.

 

Marine Scotland Science (MSS) plays an important part in supporting Marine Scotland’s stated commitment to Managing Scotland’s Seas for Prosperity and Environmental Sustainability. This vacancy is in the Engineering Group of the Business Operations programme. This group aims to provide innovative science and sound advice to managers and stakeholders which leads to sustainable sea fisheries and enhances the potential for economic growth.

 

Qualifications Required:

Electrical or Electronic Engineering Qualification.

 

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.

 

Essential Criteria:

  1. Proven skills in the assembly, testing and fault-finding of electronic circuit boards and instrumentation, including the ability to solder.
  2. Computer literacy and numerical facility, with a working knowledge of software packages such as Excel and Word.
  3. Excellent team-working skills, with the capacity to work independently both in the laboratory and at sea.
  4. Proven ability to work in multidisciplinary teams with other engineers/scientists on research and / or commercial vessels.

Further Information:

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 Neil Collie who can be reached at neil.collie@gov.scot or 0131 244 3669 or Jim Hunter on 0131 244 3385 or jim.hunter@gov.scot.

 

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact HR Resourcing on 0131 244 5800 or via recruitment@gov.scot.

 

Further information for this job:

The post Vacancy: Electronic Technician: closing date 23 July appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Library Assistant: closing date 23 July

Wed, 2019-06-26 12:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Library Assistant within the Directorate for 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.

 

The successful candidate will join The Library and Information Service. The Library provides access to information, in the form of books and journals, to the scientists working within Marine Scotland. It has two collections, at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen and a smaller collection at the Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory near Pitlochry.

 

Qualifications Required :

You must hold a minimum of 5 Standard Grades (grades 1-3) or Ordinary Grades (A-C) including English and a numerical subject.

 

Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact to discuss.

 

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be sifted out.

 

Essential Criteria:

  1. Good IT skills, including experience of using Word and Excel.
  2. Experience of working in a customer service environment.
  3. Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
  4. Good organisational skills, with an ability to plan and prioritise work and use your own initiative.

 

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 Helen McGregor who can be reached at helen.mcgregor@gov.scot or on 0131 244 2669.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the Resourcing Team on 0131 244 8500 or via recruitment@gov.scot

Further information for this job:

The post Vacancy: Library Assistant: closing date 23 July appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Marine Licensing Casework Officer – closing date 4 July

Wed, 2019-06-26 10:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Marine Licensing Casework Officer within  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.

The Licensing Operations Team in Marine Scotland provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for marine licences and consents in Scottish Waters. The successful post holder will be responsible for processing applications for consents and licences and to contribute to the teams compliance and enforcement activity and manage risks through ensuring that procedures are followed. You will provide a high quality service to the Licensing Operations Team, Ministers, applicants, consultees and stakeholders in a dynamic fast paced and evolving environment.

 

Marine Scotland is the lead marine management organisation in Scotland. It was established on 1 April 2009 as a Directorate of the Scottish Government, to integrate core marine functions involving scientific research, compliance monitoring, policy and management of Scotland’s seas.

 

The Marine Laboratory is the main centre for Marine Scotland Science (MSS) and for Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team (MS-LOT). MS-LOT discharges a range of statutory responsibilities which relate to a range of projects including highly technical applications for multi-million pound developments and infrastructure projects.

 

The main purpose of the regulatory regime is to ensure that all aspects of an application are considered and balanced against potential environmental impacts and interferences with other legitimate users of the sea.

 

Pay Supplement:

This post qualifies for the MS-LOT pay supplement, currently £5,000 per annum.  Pay supplements are temporary payments designed to address recruitment and retention issues caused by the market.  For staff not currently in receipt of the allowance, it is payable after successful completion of the qualifying period, normally nine months.  Pay supplements are subject to regular review.

 

Qualifications Required:

For jobs in Band B & C you must hold a minimum of 3 Highers or equivalent.

 

Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact to discuss.

 

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.

 

Essential Criteria:

  1. Experience of licensing or consenting processes or working with legislation.
  2. Experience of critically reviewing environmental information and providing advice and recommendations on its suitability.
  3. Excellent communication skills with the ability to demonstrate credibility with internal and external stakeholders.
  4. Ability to work on your own initiative and manage a diverse workload, meeting challenging deadlines and dealing effectively with a range of concurrent priorities.

 

Further Information:

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 Louise Msika who can be reached at louise.msika@gov.scot or on 0131 244 2912.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact Recruitment on 0131 244 8217 or via EMAIL recruitment@gov.scot

Further information for this job:

The post Vacancy: Marine Licensing Casework Officer – closing date 4 July appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Scallops, Starfish and Heavy Metal

Mon, 2019-06-24 10:00
MRV Alba na Mara

Survey: 1019A Programme

Duration: 15 June – 04 July 2019

Fishing Gear: Scallop dredges

Objectives:Survey station locations for scallop dredge survey 1019A
  1. Carry out a survey of scallop stocks on the East Coast.
  2. Age, measure and assess shell damage on all scallops caught.
  3. Collect information on by-catch of other commercial fish and shellfish species.
  4. Identify and quantify numbers of starfish species in all dredge tows.
  5. Collect frozen whole scallops for heavy metal testing as part of the OSPAR assessment of hazardous substances in the marine environment..
  6. Carry out camera trials if conditions and time allow.
  7. Record and retain marine litter obtained during the dredging process (monitoring for Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)) Procedure.

Scallop dredge hauls will be made at sites used on previous surveys as shown in Figure 1. Hauls will be of 30 minutes duration. From each haul all of the scallops will be measured to the half centimeter below and aged. In addition, numbers and size distribution of commercial fish and shellfish species will be recorded along with scallop shell damage and starfish numbers and species. Scallops (10 individuals per station) will also be collected from selected sites and frozen for heavy metal analysis back at the laboratory. Any litter collected in the dredges will be recorded as set out in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and placed in bags to be disposed of on return to port. Camera trials will be carried out if conditions and time allow – with the aim being to collect footage of the fishing gear while in operation.

Further Information:

 

The post Scallops, Starfish and Heavy Metal appeared first on Marine Scotland.

BOWLing for Prey Species

Thu, 2019-06-20 08:30
MRV Alba na Mara

Survey: 0919A Programme

Duration: 8-12 June 2019

Equipment:
  • Pelagic net PT 154;
  • “Bongo” net plankton sampling equipment;
  • Seabird SBE19 CTD;
  • Water sampling mini-rosette;
  • Sandeel dredge;
  • Day grab and grab table; and
  • EK 60 sounder.
Location Names:
  • Beatrice Offshore Wind farm Limited  (BOWL);
  • Moray East Offshore Wind farm (MEOW); and
  • Moray West Offshore Wind farm (MWOW).
Objectives: Primary Objectives:
  1. Study the distribution of prey species (fish schools, zooplankton patches) across the Smith Bank in relation to data available from BOWL post-construction digital aerial surveys and University of Aberdeen Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) surveys of top predators.
  2. Compare the distribution of schooling sandeels in summer with data on their presence in the sediment from the BOWL/MEOW winter sandeel monitoring
Secondary Objectives:
  1. Collect hydrographic data to further validate the Scottish Shelf Model (SSM) and incorporate its outputs into assessment of drivers of predator distribution.
Primary Objective:

Alba na Mara will conduct acoustic surveys using the EK60 sounder along key transects that are concurrently being surveyed using HiDef digital aerial surveys and PAM deployments.  The time period of this survey covers a similar period as the BOWL post-construction digital aerial surveys (May to July 2019), when sandeels are in the water column during daylight to feed.  Acoustic surveys will be made within five pre-selected aerial survey transects (see Figure 2) passing between wind farm turbine rows.

Acoustic data will be collected for all available frequencies.  Concurrent visual surveys collect data at different levels of the trophic web using a multi-disciplinary approach.

Line-transect surveys will be conducted at an average speed of 8 knots. Two replicates of the line transects will be carried out within each 500m wide aerial survey transect (Figure 2).

Pelagic sampling for sandeels using the PT 154 net will be conducted early on in the day to capture the change of light.  A sandeel dredge will be deployed as a back-up should the pelagic net not catch any samples. Due to the light periods relevant to sandeel capture this survey will operate a working timetable of 06:00 to 18:00.

Shooting positions will be chosen along the survey transects but not necessarily in the same orientation as these.  The shooting and hauling position of the trawls will be recorded. The trawl duration will be of 30 minutes.

Plankton sampling will be done using the “bongo” net dual sampler using nets of 200 and 68µm mesh size. Collected samples will be preserved in a number of ways: 70% alcohol, 4% formaldehyde and vital stain neutral red. Positions for these have been planned as stratified random positions along the transect lines, Figure 3 shows these positions.

Survey Activities During Turbine Piling Activities

The Alba na Mara will survey around any turbine piling activities should these start at the MEOW site. Alba na Mara will collect biological samples at a predetermined safety distance from the piling activities. Daily contact with the MEOW operation team will ensure that the Alba can sample soon after piling events are completed.

Secondary Objective:

1)    A grid of hydrographic sampling stations will be sampled during the survey to collect data for the SSM. At each station a CTD together with a water sampler will be deployed. The plankton sampling net will also be deployed at these locations. See Figure 3.

CTD profiles will be collected throughout each transect at stratified random positions to provide information on the local sound speed varying with depths, temperature and salinity. Water sampling will be performed at the same time using the mini-rosette in conjunction with the CTD.

Should the CTD not work in conjunction with the mini-rosette reversible bottles will be used for collecting water samples.

Figure 1: Survey Location and Wind Farm Development Sites

Survey location and wind farm development sites

The locations of waypoints for start/end of transects, hydrographic sampling points and map of general area to be studies can be seen in Figure 2 and 3 and the geographic positions of these in tables 1 and 2.

Figure 2: Proposed Transects for Fisheries Acoustic Surveys

Proposed transects for fisheries acoustic surveys

Table 1: Proposed Way Points for Fisheries Acoustic Survey Transects

Proposed way points for fisheries acoustic survey transects

Figure 3: Hydrographic and Plankton Sampling Positions

Hydrographic and plankton sampling positions

 

Table 2: Hydrographic and Plankton Sampling Positions

Hydrographic and plankton sampling positions

 

 

The post BOWLing for Prey Species appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Mechanical Engineer, Aberdeen, Closing Date: 25 June 2019

Wed, 2019-06-19 09:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Mechanical Engineer within 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 post is in the Engineering Group and provides a highly specialised and unique service within Marine Scotland Science, offering direct support to many of the science programmes. The Mechanical Engineer will contribute to the design, manufacture, operation and maintenance of  bespoke underwater equipment to enable the delivery of MSS survey objectives. The post provides support to maximise the survey capability of MSS vessels and science programmes whose activities underpin critical areas of advice in support of SG marine policy including:

  • Long term oceanographic monitoring for coastal offshore;
  • Cable installation surveys of offshore renewables;
  • Monitoring of designated conservation sites;
  • Fishery surveys;
  • Sea disposal site surveys;
  • Commercial fishing interactions with oil and gas pipeline surveys.

The post operates within experienced multidisciplinary teams of engineers and scientists, including other Scottish Government agencies e.g. SNH and JNCC. Technical support is provided by the post for the operation and maintenance of equipment during offshore surveys, contributing to 190 days sea time allocated to the Engineering Group for 2019/20.

Qualifications Required:

You must hold a Mechanical Engineering Qualification.

Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact to discuss.

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.

Essential Criteria:
  1. Practical mechanical engineering experience.
  2. Research vessel seagoing experience.
  3. Experience in following scientific procedures at sea or in a laboratory.
  4. Mooring assembly, deployment and recovery experience.
Further Information:

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 Peter Hayes who can be reached at Peter.Hayes@gov.scot or 01312442904.

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:

The post Vacancy: Mechanical Engineer, Aberdeen, Closing Date: 25 June 2019 appeared first on Marine Scotland.

All Eyes on New Worm Species

Tue, 2019-06-18 10:00

There’s a worm at the bottom of the sea – and it’s been discovered off the Scottish coast by a team of scientists from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Marine Scotland Science (MSS) and Thomson Environmental Consultants.  But this isn’t an ordinary worm – the newcomer has a unique anatomy with its eyes in its head and in its bottom.

This new species, now given the scientific name Ampharete oculicirrata, was collected by scientists from JNCC and MSS whilst surveying the West Shetland Shelf Marine Protected Area (MPA). The West Shetland Shelf MPA has been designated to protect a wide variety of important sand and gravel habitats and is equivalent in size to the Cairngorm National Park. The survey was the first to explore the animals within and on the seabed in this area and marks the beginning of a programme of long-term monitoring. As part of this undertaking, sandy areas of previously unexplored seabed were targeted for detailed examination by the scientists on board the research vessel MRV Scotia.  During the identification process back onshore it became apparent that a completely unknown species of worm was present.

New Worm Species©National Museums Scotland_B

©National Museums Scotland

The worm was identified by a team led by Ruth Barnich of Thomson Environmental Consultants, Julio Parapar from the University of La Coruña and Juan Moreira from the Autonomous University of Madrid. Now it’s been officially identified, our wiggly friend has found a new home in the collections of National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh.

Tim McDonnell, Head of Marine Scotland Science commented:

“I am delighted that partnership working between MSS, JNCC and Thomson Environmental using Scotland’s principal scientific research vessel has led to this exciting discovery. Our sampling and analysis work takes a great amount of time and expertise but undoubtedly adds to our knowledge and understanding of the Scottish marine environment.”

Jessica Taylor, Marine Evidence Advisor from JNCC, said:

“This new species is an exciting and interesting addition to the work we do in Marine Protected Areas. The fact that it was found in relatively shallow depths, relatively close to the Scottish coastline, shows just how much more there is to understand about the creatures that live in our waters.

I’m excited about future JNCC and MSS surveys and what they may reveal.  And it’s great that specimens of the new species have been acquired by National Museums Scotland and are available for future studies.”

Ruth Barnich,  Principal Scientist in the marine team at Thomson, said:

“It’s always fascinating to work on offshore samples. In those collected by JNCC and MSS at 100 – 600 metres depth, we saw many rare and unusual species which are typical of deeper waters, such as brittle stars and various polychaetes and shrimps.”

A scientific paper detailing the find in full has just been published in the June edition of the European Journal of Taxonomy.

Further Information:

  • More images of the worm can be found here.
  • Further details of the offshore seabed survey of West Shetland Shelf MPA where the species was found.
  • Marine Scotland Science (MSS) topic sheet
  • 57 samples were collected by 0.1 m2 Hamon grab on the survey. Sediment subsamples were analysed from all of the samples collected and 43 of the samples were analysed to determine what animals were present.
  • JNCC, MSS and National Museums Scotland plan to revisit West Shetland Shelf MPA in August 2019 to conduct further sampling to form a monitoring timeseries which will be used to inform assessment of the condition of the protected features of the site for comparison against future data to monitor the rate and direction of any changes.

 

 

 

The post All Eyes on New Worm Species appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Coastal Temperature Data Published on World Oceans Day

Sat, 2019-06-08 10:00

As part of the Scottish Coastal Observatory, Marine Scotland and a group of dedicated volunteers record coastal water temperatures around Scotland. Today, on World Oceans Day, the coastal water temperature data from 14 monitoring locations are being published.

The volunteer-based observing network works by the volunteers receiving a small self-recording temperature sensor every three months by post. The volunteers then replace the temperature logger already in place with the new sensor. The previous temperature sensor is then posted back, and once the sensor has made it back to the Marine Laboratory, the data are downloaded and checked for quality.

This temperature sensor network contributes to Marine Scotland’s work on monitoring sea temperature in Scottish waters. The data are analysed and included in a range of assessments of the ocean’s status, such as the Scottish Ocean Climate Status Report, Scotland’s Marine Atlas, and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
While most of the sites were started relatively recently, they do provide valuable information on regional variations of the century scale warming due to global climate change. It is vital that we continue to measure the temperatures in our coastal waters to further understand how global climate change will affect Scotland.

If you are interested in being a coastal monitoring volunteer please get in touch! 

Further Information:

The post Coastal Temperature Data Published on World Oceans Day appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Ah, the humble chip!

Fri, 2019-06-07 09:00

It’s National Fish and Chip day! Whilst we deal with the fish side of it, we decided to ask one of our potato-boffin colleagues in Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, Dr Alex Reid, to give us his opinion on the best potato to make chips and the optimum way to make them. Question is, do you prefer yours with salt and vinegar or salt and sauce…?

*************

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Image: ESA/Rosetta

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Image: ESA/Rosetta

Chips and comets have a lot in common.

On the face of it that just sounds ridiculous but there is some truth in that statement. Both are made from a material with a high water content that plunges into a hot environment. When a comet gets closer to the sun the ice inside starts to boil and escapes from the surface in jets The image below (taken by the ESA Rosetta probe) shows comet 67P venting gas into space as it approaches our sun. This venting of gas gives comets their tails. This is a relatively slow process which can take several months as the comet approaches the sun. Similarly, but a lot faster, when a chip is plunged into hot oil the water on the surface immediately boils sending out jets of hot gas. You can see this process in action because the oil bubbles when the potatoes are dropped in.

The outside of the chip is dried by this process forming a hardened crust trapping any water that didn’t escape inside. The temperature inside the crust rises rapidly and cooks the potato inside and voila, you have a chip. OK, so there is slightly more to it than that, you need to get the temperature of the oil right, too cool and the crust doesn’t form and the water vapour continues to escape from the interior and can be replaced by oil resulting in the dreaded soggy chip.

You also need the right type of oil.

Saturated fats are best because they are chemically more stable.  Like the tyres on a Formula 1 car, there is a sweet spot for the oil where it operates optimally; fresh oil is no good as the molecules of fat and water repel each other and the potato does not cook properly. The fat molecules need to degrade a little for optimum results. Older oil that has gone past its peak results a dried out chip as too much water escapes from the inside. So the crust formation is the crucial process in making the perfect chip. The crust is formed after the initial water is boiled away and starches released from the potato react with the heat and remaining moisture to form a gel which coats the outer surface and then caramelizes to form that fantastic slightly brown crunchy coating.

Therefore, we need a potato with a high starch content to make the perfect chip.

When I joined SASA in 2002 it came as a bit of a shock to me just how many different potato varieties there are. I was familiar with a few of the common ones you see in the supermarkets; King Edward, Maris Piper and Jersey Royal (incidentally not a variety, it is a protected name given to early potatoes grown on Jersey, the variety is actually International Kidney). I also knew that all potatoes did not cook the same as I can remember my Granny complaining about how some tatties ‘gang throwe the brie’ or fall apart when boiled for those of you not familiar with Doric.

Dr Alex ReidI now know that there are thousands of different potato varieties (we grow around 1300 each year at SASA) and that, in a very broad generalisation potatoes are either waxy or floury (in actual fact there is a gradation of potatoes that go from waxy to floury). Waxy potatoes have high water content and hold their shape well when boiled and are good for, well, boiling but are also good for stews, soups and potato salads. Floury potatoes have a higher starch content making them great for baking, mashing, roasting and making chips, as the lighter, fluffier flesh allow oil or butter to be absorbed more readily. There are a number of ‘all-rounder’ varieties that fall in the middle of the waxy/floury gradation which can be used for anything. So which varieties should you use for making chips? In the UK Maris Piper is the most popular variety for chipping, and not surprisingly, the area of Maris Piper grown in the UK in 2018 (15,000 hectares) was three times more than the next most popular varieties Markies (also a good chipper) and Maris Peer (a waxy salad type).

At SASA we have developed a DNA fingerprinting method for potato variety identification (a kind of CSI or Clever Spud Identification for tatties) and we are sent hundreds of frozen chip samples every year for variety checking by processing companies and the vast majority of these are Maris Piper. Other good varieties for chips include King Edward, Rooster and Russet Burbank (popular with a certain burger restaurant).

So the next time you have chips on your way home remember, they’re not that different from comets. Now there’s something to amaze your mates with.

Dr Alex Reid

Head of Genotyping a.k.a Dr Potato Head.

But that’s not the end of it.

For those of you interested in the fish side, our Chief Scientific Advisor Marine, Professor Colin Moffat, has the following advice:

The chip is, of course, one part of a very special partnership.

The fish is a white fish, haddock being the dominant species consumed in  the North-East of Scotland, but we should not forget about cod and, increasingly, hake and saithe.  That said, when we go to buy a fish supper most of us will probably be thinking about a haddock supper, but why not try a hake supper or a saithe supper if they are offered at your local fish and chip shop?

There is no doubt that the fish community of the North Sea is changing and that there are a number of reasons why this is, with the changes in our climate likely to be playing its part.  What is does mean, however, is that we do have to broaden the range of fish that we consume with our chips.  White fish is a high protein, low fat food and should be an integral part of our diet, together with the oily fish such as mackerel.  Sitting on the seafront with a fish supper is a real treat.  As you look out to sea, that is where half your meal has come from, a critical ecosystem on our planet that provides us with half the oxygen we breath as well as the much loved fish of that very special partnership.

Further Information

The post Ah, the humble chip! appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Nephrops Burrowing Complexes

Thu, 2019-06-06 10:00

MRV Scotia Programme
Survey 0819S

Duration: 2-24 June 2019

 

Gear:

  • 2 x Scotia BT175 60mm prawn trawls
  • 2 x Day grabs and 1 x sieving table
  • 2 x towed UWTV sledges
  • 3 x 600m umbilical towing cables and associated TV equipment (including back up)
  • COMPASS work: VEMCO deck box, transponder and charging unit for acoustic release,
  • 100kg clump weight, two sensors, mooring line, shackles (one for each of six mooring sites).

 

Objectives:

  1. To obtain estimates of abundance and distribution of Nephrops burrow complexes at Fladen, in the North Minch, the South Minch, the Firth of Clyde, in the Sound of Jura and at Devil’s Hole. If time and weather permits, stations at the Noup may also be surveyed.
  2. To use the TV footage to record the occurrence of other benthic fauna as well as evidence of commercial trawl activity.
  3. To collect sediment samples at each station.
  4. To carry out trawling for Nephrops in order to obtain samples of Nephrops for size composition analysis.
  5. To collect samples of Nephrops from the trawls for comparison of reproductive condition and morphometrics in each of the different survey areas (Functional Units).
  6. To record and retain marine litter obtained from trawling as part of the MSFD.
  7. To recover COMPASS moorings at six sites on the west coast, and to deploy replacement devices at each site.

 

Procedures:

TV objectives  – The main areas in which the underwater television (UWTV) survey will take place (see Figure 1 below) have been surveyed on regular basis for a number of years, and the data used in annual fisheries management advice.  A combination of two approaches will be used to derive the survey positions: a stratified random approach and fixed stations.  The majority of stations will be generated by employing the traditional stratified random technique based on sediment distribution in all areas except the North Minch, where stations will be randomly generated within the boundaries of commercial Nephrops fishing effort, obtained from Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data.  Alternatively, at the Devils Hole, as well as within some of the other survey areas, deployments will be carried out at a number of fixed sites.  The location of all TV stations will be provided ahead of the survey.

 

Weather permitting, en route to the Fladen ground approximately 450 m of the TV cable will be paid, out with a large buoy attached to the end of the cable which will be lowered into the water.  This will add back tension to the cable on recovery, creating tighter turns on the winch and reduce the potential for damaging the cable.  The sledge will then be attached to the umbilical to allow a training session to be carried out, where the sledge will be shot, and then approximately 100 m of cable paid out and finally, recovered.  During this procedure a calibration grid will be attached to the skids on the sledge.  This will be undertaken in the vicinity of the first TV station.  Once this procedure is completed to the satisfaction of all involved, the grid will be removed and the vessel will then begin surveying Nephrops burrow TV stations as scheduled.  Once the work at Fladen has been completed, the vessel will then steam west and survey the Noup before continuing on to the stations in the North and South Minches.

 

It is anticipated that the vessel will work south along the western side of the Minches and then on towards the Clyde, surveying TV sites and carrying out trawls as required.  The timing of the half landing will depend on how well the work has progressed and berth availability at Campbeltown, but it is anticipated that the Clyde will be surveyed before the half landing; although this can be reviewed nearer the time and adjustments made accordingly.

 

If the Clyde leg of the survey has already been completed prior to the half landing, the survey will resume in the Sound of Jura, followed by the remaining South and North Minch stations whilst working north.  If the Noup was not surveyed in the first leg of the survey for whatever reason, if time and weather permits, a small number of stations at the Noup may be attempted before returning to Fladen to complete any additional stations (if required), or those not covered on the first half.  The survey will conclude once the stations and any trawling at the Devils Hole have been completed, before returning to Aberdeen prior to unloading on 24 June.

 

Throughout the survey, sledge deployments and TV observations will be carried out 24 hours a day, weather permitting.  Whilst on the West coast, there maybe some occasions during the hours of darkness and in areas of high creel densities where TV operations are suspended for a short time to avoid any potential gear conflict.  Alternatively TV operations maybe suspended whilst the vessel surveys the planned route ahead for creels during the hours of daylight, and, therefore, allowing TV operations to continue throughout the hours of darkness.  There will be two teams with two staff, and one team of three staff, each working an eight hour shift and all will be involved in deploying and recovering the TV equipment, recording data and liaising with the ship’s compliment.  There will be a requirement for staff to work outwith their shift period, which will include tasks such as reviewing video footage, assisting in working up trawl catches and data entry.  These additional tasks will not involve working on the deck.  All work will be carried out in accordance with WTR regulations.  The names of staff on each shift, watch leaders and the shift patterns will be provided to the ship prior to sailing.

 

At each TV station a video camera mounted on to the sledge will be towed along the seabed for approximately 10 minutes at approximately 0.7 knot and in to the tide – the ship’s dynamic positioning will be required for this.  Nephrops burrows observed, individual Nephrops and other benthic fauna will be recorded onto DVD for later analysis.  The depth and distance travelled by the sledge, as well as camera height from the seabed will be recorded automatically.  Where practical, sediment samples will be taken using the mini van Veen grab mounted on the sledge.  However, if the mini van Veen fails it may be necessary to use the Day Grab.  All sediment samples will be frozen.

 

Trawl caught samples of Nephrops will be collected and information on size composition, maturity and morphometrics will be recorded.  Up to five trawls may be made in Fladen with a maximum of three tows in each of the other survey areas.  Where possible trawls will be carried out on different sediment types in each area, as defined by British Geological Survey data.  Trawls will be no longer than one hour and carried out at either dawn or dusk.  Any litter collected in the trawl will be recorded as set out in the SOP and placed in bags to be disposed of on return to port.  There will be a requirement for the trawl to be cleaned by ‘streaming’ it behind the vessel for 15 minutes between the main fishing areas, as well as a final, more prolonged clean at the end of the survey.

 

COMPASS Objective – In addition to the regular UWTV work, six moorings located on the West coast between Tolsta Head and Stanton Banks are required to be recovered and replacement devices redeployed at the same site (see Table 1 below).  This operation replicates the work carried out on the Scotia Nephrops TV survey 0818S in 2018.  The devices will be retrieved by acoustically releasing a buoy which will rise to the surface.  The buoy will be attached to a length of Dyneema which in turn will be secured to the scientific equipment.  Using a grappling hook to gather up the buoy, the Dyneema will be passed through the CTD winch which in turn will haul the equipment to the surface and eventually on to the hangar deck.  Before moving off station, a replacement mooring will have been prepared and ready to launch from the hangar deck when instructed by the Bridge.  No additional crew to that required for normal UWTV operations will be required.  To ensure this work is as safe and efficient as possible, this work will only be carried out during daylight hours and undertaken when moorings are close to scheduled TV stations.  Full risk assessments will be made available prior to sailing.

 

Figure 1: Areas to be surveyed during the Nephrops burrow abundance
underwater TV (UWTV) cruise 0819S

Table 1: Location of the six COMPASS moorings to be recovered and replacement devices to be redeployed at

The post Nephrops Burrowing Complexes appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Assistant Marine Chemist, closing date: 25 June 2019

Fri, 2019-05-31 14:24

We are currently seeking applications for an Assistant Marine Chemist within 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.

The main role of this post is to undertake chemical and physical analyses of water, sediment and biota in support of Marine Scotland priority work areas such as environmental assessments for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and OSPAR.

This involves collection, logging, preparation and analysis of environmental samples for water chemistry (chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen, marine carbonate chemistry) and physical analyses of sediment and biota (particle size, organic carbon and lipid determinations). All chemical analyses are accredited by the UK accreditation service and work practices are therefore to ISO 17025 standards.

The post also provides data to colleagues in the Planning and Environmental Advice Programme in support of their research on understanding the functioning of, and human impacts on, aquatic ecosystems. The post holder may be given the opportunity to participate in research cruises and environmental sampling.

Qualifications Required

For jobs in Band A, you must hold a minimum of 5 Standard Grades (grades 1 – 3) or Ordinary Grades (A-C) including English, a numerical subject and a science.

Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact to discuss.

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.

Essential Criteria
  1. Basic laboratory skills, for example through studying a science
  2. Ability to work independently and as part of a team, planning and organising work to meet agreed deadlines
  3. An ability to follow written and verbal instructions and work accurately
  4. Knowledge and understanding of use of Word, Excel
Further Information

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 Pamela Walsham who can be reached at pamela.walsham@gov.scot or 0131 244 2500.

Further information for this job

The post Vacancy: Assistant Marine Chemist, closing date: 25 June 2019 appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Smolts on the Sunbeam

Thu, 2019-05-23 11:54

Scientists from Marine Scotland Science (MSS) are currently undertaking a smolt survey aboard the Fraserburgh pelagic trawler Sunbeam (FR487). The survey runs from 10 – 19 May 2019. The main objective is to survey salmon and sea trout smolt migration routes at various points both inshore and offshore (approx. 45 nmiles) along the Scottish east coast. The route includes the Moray Firth, Firths of Forth and Tay. MSS are using a specially designed net which samples from sea surface down to approximately 10m below the surface.

The rear part of the net incorporates a metal frame containing video recording capabilities and checks for Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags on fish, which are essentially barcodes that give reliable data, from shore tagged individual fish of various river origins, on specific animal movement. The net is operated with the codend either open or closed to retain fish for genetic assignment to regions and river of origin.

 

Further Information:

The post Smolts on the Sunbeam appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Small Isles MPA’s

Tue, 2019-05-21 10:00

MRV Alba na Mara Programme
Survey 0819A

Duration: 18 May – 4 June 2019

 

Equipment:

  • Hybrid drop/lander frame + calibration mesh
  • HD TV system + lights (5 plastic cages)
  • Armoured cable + spare + axle stands & bar
  • Stereo TV system
  • Day grab + table + 2 × sieve drawers
  • EK60 calibration equipment

 

Background and Objectives:

0819A will survey the waters around the Small Isles Marine Protected Area (MPA).  The primary objective of this survey is to monitor sites previously visited in 2012-2018 that support Scotland’s Priority Marine Features (PMFs).  Work from these surveys will be used to determine the effect of MPAs established in Scottish waters.  A secondary objective is that the data will contribute to a potential impact (BACI) study once protective measures within the MPA are introduced.  Work will cease on the afternoon of 26 May to allow time to travel to Mallaig (TBC) for the purposes of a half landing. Scientific staff will change at this point. Specific objectives are as follows:

  1. To further survey known populations of PMF species within and outside the Small Isles MPA.
  2. Trial the stereo-imagery system developed by MSS.
  3. To sample sites around the Small Isles MPA for the purpose of eDNA analysis.
  4. To calibrate the EK60 echosounder system mounted on board Alba na Mara.

 

Embarkation: Scientists will join the vessel in Oban around 11:00 (BST) on 18 May.  Weather permitting, and after all vessel drills have been completed, Alba na Mara will depart Kyle of Lochalsh, heading for the Small Isles MPA.

 

Benthic survey: The survey will consist of a series of UW HDTV surveys of the seabed at various sites inside and outside the Small Isles MPA (Figure 1).  The survey will utilise the modular camera frame (hybrid drop and lander frame – 2460 × 1900 × 1940 mm, L × W × H) deployed from the aft of the vessel.  Species type, density and substrate type (assessed visually) will be classified for each video transect post-survey.

 

The stereo-video system will be attached to the lander frame and set to record in parallel with the PMF survey.  The bar will be moved around the frame to investigate the effect of changing the camera orientation with respect to the area under observation.

 

If time allows, grab samples will be taken at sites around the MPA.  Samples will be frozen on board and will be analysed at a later date for traces of environmental DNA (eDNA) from species classed as Priority Marine Features (e.g. Atrina fragilis).

 

Operations: Survey operations will take place between the hours of 06:00 and 18:00 (GMT) and the work schedule will be decided by the SIC in conjunction with the skipper.  Work will cease at an appropriate time to allow the vessel to steam to Kirkwall to collect the acoustic technician.  The following 12 hours will be spent in Scapa Flow calibrating the EK60 echosounder system, after which Alba na Mara will head for Fraserburgh. All staff will remain on board until the end of the survey.

Unloading will occur on 4 June, at which time scientists will disembark.

 

Normal contact will be maintained with the Laboratory.

 

Figure 1: 2019 survey areas: Small Isles MPA UWTV Survey Boxes

 

The post Small Isles MPA’s appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Pages