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GDPR  – a change to data protection law

Thu, 2018-05-24 15:59

The General Data Protection Regulations comes into force on May 25, 2018, giving individuals more control over their personal data, and ensuring that organisations collect and process that information properly and securely. To find out more about GDPR, visit the Information Commissioner’s website.

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The post GDPR  – a change to data protection law appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Celebrating Science and Year of the Young Person with Dr Campbell Pert

Thu, 2018-05-24 10:00

Campbell PertAs 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!

Further Information

The post Celebrating Science and Year of the Young Person with Dr Campbell Pert appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Offshore Energy and Marine Spatial Planning Book

Wed, 2018-05-23 10:00

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.

You can access the book preview online, and more information is available online.


The post Offshore Energy and Marine Spatial Planning Book appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Sunbeam Surveys going Swimmingly

Mon, 2018-05-21 10:00

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.

Further Information:

The post Sunbeam Surveys going Swimmingly appeared first on Marine Scotland.

New Scientific Advisor for Government

Fri, 2018-05-18 10:55

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).

OCSAM Prof Colin MoffatWe 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.

Further Information:

The post New Scientific Advisor for Government appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Salmon Smolt Surveying on the Sunbeam

Fri, 2018-05-11 10:45

Survey: 0718H – MFV Sunbeam FR487

Duration: 04-16 May 2018

Scientific gear:

  1. 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.
  2. Video frame/box incorporating pit tag detector.
  3. Self-contained underwater camera systems.


  1. 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.

Trawl gear:

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.

Trawling plan:

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)

Flotation (headline):

  • 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

 0718H Sunbeam Guidance Note 2

Further Information:


The post Salmon Smolt Surveying on the Sunbeam appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Predicting Suitable Habitat

Thu, 2018-05-10 10:30

Survey: 0618A – MRV Alba n Mara

Duration: 5-14 May 2018


  • Hybrid drop/lander frame and calibration mesh;
  • HD TV system and lights (five plastic cages);
  • Armoured cable, spare, axle stands and bar;
  • Stereo TV system; and
  • Day grab, table and two sieve drawers.

Background and Objectives:

This survey will conduct a benthic survey of southern, west-coast waters within Scotland’s jurisdiction. The primary objective is to survey identified sites that have the potential to support benthic components of Scotland’s Priority Marine Features (PMFs). Data from this survey will be used to populate species distribution models (SDMs). These SDMs will be used to increase our knowledge of PMFs located outside the Scottish Marine Protected Area (MPA) network and to produce area wide maps of predicted habitat suitability. Under the MarPAMM project, data collected from this survey will also contribute to larger interregional models of species distribution.

Specific objectives are as follows:

  1. To conduct UWTV video assessments of PMFs abundance within southern, west-coast waters; and
  2. To conduct a grab survey within areas identified as suitable for Arctica islandica.

Benthic survey:

The survey will consist of a series of short (~10 min) UWTV video tows (shown on Figure 1 below). To achieve this, the survey will utilise the newly built modular camera frame (combined drop and lander frame – 2460 × 1900 × 1940 mm, L × W × H) deployed from the aft of the vessel. Where the ground is hard, this frame will be deployed in the more compact drop frame configuration. Species type, species densities and substrate type (assessed visually) will be classified for each video transect post-survey.Figure 1 0618A 2018 General Survey Areas

Grab samples may also be taken in areas where the bivalve, Arctica islandica, has been indicated to be present. Here, sediment samples will also be taken and frozen for particle size analysis. No formalin storage will be necessary during this procedure.

Further Information:

The post Predicting Suitable Habitat appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Significant Celebrations for Scottish Freshwater Organisations

Wed, 2018-05-09 10:00

2018 is looking to be quite a significant year for two organisations at the core of freshwater research in Scotland. Marine Scotland Science’s Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory (FFL) at Faskally in Pitlochry, has just celebrated its 70th anniversary and the Scottish Freshwater Group (SFG) has just turned 50.

Freshwater fisheries research has been a Government responsibility in Scotland from 1882 when the Fishery Board for Scotland was set up. The origin of the Faskally Laboratory is rather more recent. In April 1948 the Brown Trout Research Scheme (BTRS) started at Pitlochry, two years before the new Loch Faskally was created when the Pitlochry Hydro-electric dam was completed.

Picture 1 SFG founding member Bill Munro with fellow BTRS colleaguesThe two organisations have connections that began in the early 1960’s and continue to this day. The SFG held their first meeting in October 1968, some 20 years after the founding of the Brown Trout Research Scheme. The SFG was the brainchild of Peter Maitland (Nature Conservancy, now Scottish Natural Heritage), Bill Munro (Brown Trout Research Laboratory, now FFL) and Ian Waddington (Clyde River Purification Boards, now the Scottish Environment Protection Agency ) looking for a national forum for those working on fresh waters in Scotland. It was chaired by Mr Kenneth Pyefinch, who was also the first officer-in-charge at the Brown Trout Research Scheme, and one of the talks given at that same meeting was by Dr Harry Egglishaw who worked at the laboratory until 1987.

Wind forward to the present and the SFG conducted its 100th meeting, held at Stirling University, just last month, which once again demonstrated the rapport between the two organisations. The current Head of FFL Dr John Armstrong was one of the presenters representing Marine Scotland Science (MSS) and gave a talk on the “Application of long-term monitoring for the contemporary management and conservation of Atlantic salmon”.

MSS were delighted to contribute further giving an informative overview of some of the work and research undertaken by both FFL and the Renewables and Energy Programme with posters from:

  • Dr Karen Millidine looking at “Understanding and assessing the effects of river regulation on Atlantic salmon fry”;
  • Ross Gardiner on “Salmon smolt trawl work in connection with marine renewables developments”;
  • Dr Emily Bridcut on the“Impacts of onshore wind farm developments on fish populations in Scotland”; and
  • Ross Glover on the “Detailed long-term study of a Scottish Atlantic salmon population across multiple life-stages suggests no discernible benefit of conservation stocking”.

Further contribution saw inspiring talks from:

  • Dr Iain Malcolm on the “Development of a national juvenile salmon density model for Scotland to underpin fisheries management and assessment”; and
  • Dr Faye Jackson looking at the “Development of a national river temperature model to inform the management of Scotland’s Atlantic salmon rivers under climate change”.

Dr John Armstrong said: Picture 2 Original wooden huts used for the BTRS in 1948“The Brown Trout Research Scheme was tasked with conducting investigations into the factors that affected the growth of brown trout in Scottish waters, for improving stocks. We were renamed the Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory in April 1957 as our remit was extended particularly to encompass management of Atlantic salmon. During our full tenure we have provided wide-ranging research which provides the (now) Scottish Government with the facts required to make and amend policy on Scotland’s freshwater and migratory fish and the fisheries that they support. We are very proud of our legacy and look forward to continuing our important work for the next seventy years and beyond.”

Further Information:

The post Significant Celebrations for Scottish Freshwater Organisations appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Celebrating the Year of the Engineer – Meet Tam Cairns of the Northern Lighthouse Board

Tue, 2018-05-08 10:00

Tam CairnsAs we mentioned in our blog in January, 2018 is the Year of the Engineer as well as the Year of the Young Person. Over the course of the year, we’ll be introducing you to some of our incredibly talented engineers, as well as showing your some of their work. But for this month, we’re delighted to welcome Tam Cairns to our blog. Tam is the Delivery and Planning Manager for the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB), based at the organisation’s headquarters in Edinburgh. The NLB is the General Lighthouse Authority responsible for the superintendence and management of all lights, buoys and beacons within the area around Scotland and the Isle of Man.

Tam is married with four children and has eight – soon to be nine – grandchildren!

What’s your career path been – how did you get here?

I left school at 16 with pretty mediocre Standard Grades and started an indentured apprenticeship with the National Coal Board (NCB) as a Colliery Fitter. Over the next 15 years I worked at Lady Victoria, Bilston Glen and Bilsthorpe Collieries completing my apprenticeship and achieving a variety of supervisory roles. For the following three years I worked as a maintenance fitter with Scottish Power at Cockenzie and Methil Power Stations.

In 1991 I joined NLB as Mechanical Artificer, a job title normally associated with naval fraternity. After five years I was given a significant promotion and appointed Mechanical Incorporated Engineer, a role I’ve fulfilled in various guises over the past 18 years. In every position I’ve held with NLB, I’ve always been involved in further education, at either City & Guild, Scotvec, OU or University level. I was promoted to my present position in June 2017.

As Operations, Delivery and Planning Manager, I’m responsible for making sure our maintenance and projects’ work focusses on providing efficient and available Aids to Navigation (AtoN’s). I need to make sure we’re maintaining or exceeding the very high levels of availability demanded of us. For category 1, 2 and 3 AtoN’s, these are 99.8%, 99.9% and 99.7% respectively, worked out over a three year average.

I also manage our involvement in new technologies and training, ensuring we’re well provisioned in terms of the capability of our staff to meet Notice to Mariners (NTM’s) which are formally issued in relation to our project works.

I have responsibility for up to 50 full and part-time employees who cover a range of electrical, mechanical and radio skills at various levels. They include technicians, technician engineers and specialised engineers covering work such as DGPS, AIS and Monitoring Systems. Our part-time staff are all remotely based, providing localised inspections and first line maintenance in the case of faults. We also contribute to NLB’s Renewals and Projects work on automation, refurbishments and upgrades at installations.

What’s your proudest achievement so far?

My proudest achievement in terms of my career was being appointed to my present position. My proudest achievement academically was obtaining my 2nd Degree, a BEng in Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Napier University over five years of day release. I was especially pleased to be awarded the class medal for my course. But the biggest part of my graduation day was sharing it with my youngest daughter Kirsty, who was also graduating at Napier with a Degree in Nursing.

What would you say to any aspiring young engineers?

For anyone thinking about a career in engineering, I’d say if you believe you’re not clever enough or can’t afford to go to university in pursuit of the graduate engineer route, don’t give up. Try and get an apprenticeship and take every advantage of further education opportunities. I’m proof that you can get the rewards you seek in engineering. And I might be biased but in my opinion the best all round engineers and managers are those who have followed the vocational path, while working.

And one fun fact about you?

It was quite difficult trying to think of a fun fact about myself! I asked my wife who replied: ”Yes, you can be… funny”. But I still couldn’t come up with specifics. Instead, I thought I would recall a couple of what I thought were funny situations but which probably taught me a few lessons!

As a serving member of the Territorial Army (TA), REME 1 Bn, Corporal Class 1 VM, my unit were on exercise in Germany. I was patrolling our area perimeter when I was approached by a large group of Germans. I raised my weapon and asked for the password. No reply but a lot of chatter. Then I heard a voice behind shouting, “Sir. Cairns has stopped a pile of Germans”.

Suddenly a Warrant Officer, WO1 Whyte, came running across apologising profusely to the German officers. Unbeknown to me they’d been allowed to use our cookhouse and had been let in by another route! I then gained the nickname Tom & Jerry.

On this occasion I was working at Skerryvore lighthouse, the tallest off shore lighthouse in the UK. As the subordinate fitter, I couldn’t believe it when the senior in charge didn’t have a 2lb hand hammer. Considering the nature of some of the work, which involved chiselling granite to fit brackets, I suggested we ask the engineering staff on our ship the Pharos if they could help. I was too embarrassed to say we hadn’t got a “proper hammer”, so told the helicopter pilot we’d broken the hammer shaft and could he ask the engineering staff if they had a spare they could give us. Before the pilot departed Skerryvore I went over to him. He stuck his hand out of the window and presented me, not with a hammer but with a new hammer shaft! Then he left. As you can imagine, the subordinate me had to spend the next two weeks chiselling granite with a joiner’s claw hammer.

The lessons I’d take from those two “funnies” is to use your initiative and don’t be afraid to ask for help. And never be embarrassed in making a mistake.

“After all, the man who never made a mistake, did nothing.”

The post Celebrating the Year of the Engineer – Meet Tam Cairns of the Northern Lighthouse Board appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Recover, Download, Re-deploy, Repeat

Fri, 2018-05-04 15:00

Survey: 0618S – MRV Scotia

Duration: 2-12 May 2018


Sea-Bird CTDs, ADCPs and current meter instrumentation, water filtering equipment, mooring equipment, chemistry sampling and analysis equipment.


  1. Perform hydrographic sampling along the AlterEco monitoring section in the northern North Sea, which will be sampled on all MSS oceanographic surveys in 2018.
  2. Perform hydrographic sampling along the JONSIS long term monitoring section in the northern North Sea.
  3. Recover, download and re-deploy an ADCP mooring deployed in a trawl-proof frame on the JONSIS section (the “AlterEco mooring”, AECO).
  4. Recover and download the data from one ADCP mooring deployed on Faroe-Shetland Channel Faroe – Cape Wrath (FCW/NWZ) section, in the vicinity of the Wyville-Thomson Ridge (NWZE).
  5. Recover, download and re-deploy one ADCP mooring at a position on Fair Isle – Munken (FIM/NWS) section
  6. Take surface water samples at a suitable location in the Faroe Shetland Channel for bacterial analysis and experimentation (HWU).
  7. Perform hydrographic sampling along the long term monitoring Faroe-Shetland Channel Nolso – Flugga (NOL/NWE) section.
  8. Recover, download and re-deploy two ADCP moorings at positions on Faroe-Shetland Channel Nolso – Flugga section.
  9. Take water samples for long term storage on Fair Isle – Munken or Nolso – Flugga section stations.
  10. Perform hydrographic sampling along the long term monitoring Faroe-Shetland Channel Fair Isle – Munken (FIM/NWS) section.
  11. Run the thermosalinograph throughout the survey.
  12. Perform hydrographic sampling in the vicinity of a number of ADCP moorings in order to calibrate moored equipment: CTD dips at selected locations with equipment (SB56 NanoCAT and/or SB57 MicroCAT) attached to carousel.
  13. If sheltering in a suitable location around Shetland due to bad weather, conduct VMADCP/CTD work in Shetland (e.g. Yell Sound) and short-term mooring deployment and recovery.
  14. If weather/time permits, perform fine scale VMADCP/CTD survey work on the JONSIS line (around 59° 16.96′ N, 001° 15.26′ W).
  15. If weather/time permits, perform VMADCP/CTD survey work in the Moray Firth and/or Aberdeen Bay.


On sailing from Aberdeen Scotia will make passage to the start (western end) of the AlterEco monitoring section to carry out sampling with the CTD and carousel water sampler along the section.  On completion, Scotia will head to the JONSIS section to carry out sampling with the CTD and carousel water sampler.  Either prior to that work or during it, an ADCP mooring deployed on JONSIS in an AL200 trawl-proof frame (AECO) will be recovered, downloaded and re-deployed.

Passage will then be made towards the NWZE mooring location near the Wyville-Thomson Ridge to recover and download an ADCP mooring, performing a calibration dip at a suitable location once the instruments have been recovered. Subsequent to the recovery of mooring NWZE, Scotia will recover an ADCP mooring on the Fair Isle – Munken (FIM) section (NWSE).  Data will be downloaded and the mooring will then be re-deployed.  Surface water will be collected at a suitable station nearby for bacterial work by the HWU visitor.

Scotia will then make her way to the eastern start location for the Nolso – Flugga (NOL) section and, depending on timings, either recover one ADCP mooring (NWEZ) along the way or start collecting long term monitoring samples and taking CTD profiles from the start of the section. At two relevant locations along NOL (NWEZ, NWEA), mooring recovery and re-deployments will be carried out, with calibration CTD dips for instruments recovered from some of the moorings.  After the NOL section, Scotia will head to the western (Faroe) side of the FIM section to carry out standard CTD and water sampling along that line.

Once that work is completed and if time allows, Scotia will carry out additional work (listed among the survey objectives) along the JONSIS line, in the Moray Firth and/or Aberdeen Bay, prior to her return to Aberdeen.  If the weather requires sheltering in Shetland and any point during the survey, we will aim to collect additional CTD and VMADCP data in suitable locations (e.g. Yell Sound) and, if time and conditions allow, deploy and recover short-term (> 13 h) current meter moorings (Seaguard current meters).Scotland to Iceland map 0618S

Mooring Positions (Recovery):

  • AECO – 59° 16.96′ N 001° 15.26′ W
  • NWZE – 59° 54.56’ N   006° 10.14’ W
  • NWEA – 61° 38.01’N 004° 32.60’W
  • NWEZ – 61° 09.32′ N  002° 17.39′ W
  • NWSE – 60° 16.34′ N  004° 20.67′ W

Mooring Positions (Deployment):

  • AECO – 59° 17.00′ N 001° 15.00′ W on JONSIS
  • NWEA – 61° 38.00 N 004° 33.00 W on NOL
  • NWEZ – 61° 9.30 N 002° 17.52 W on NOL
  • NWSE – 60° 16.29′ N 004° 20.78′ W on FIM

Scientific Procedures:

It is expected that deployments of hydrographic equipment will be carried out with the CTD crane whilst the vessel is on station. The plankton crane will be used for the deployment of ADCP moorings in trawl-proof frames (AL200 and AL500).  Single-string ADCP mooring deployments will be done from the trawl deck.

Three container laboratories will be required (one wet chemical analysis laboratory, one for water filtering and a dry container for communications with sampling equipment). Chlorophyll samples will be stored frozen in the freezer in the Fish House.

Further Information:

The post Recover, Download, Re-deploy, Repeat appeared first on Marine Scotland.

It’s all about …. Scotland’s environment

Thu, 2018-05-03 10:00

Scotland’s Environment website has a wealth of information and data to help you explore and learn more about our environment. If you’ve not had a chance to visit the website and blog recently, here’s a taste of what’s been happening in January to April.

Happy reading!

Read the latest round-up

The post It’s all about …. Scotland’s environment appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Rock-all and Trawl with Genesis

Tue, 2018-05-01 11:22

Survey: 0818H – MFV Genesis BF505

Duration: 25 April -10 May 2018

Fishing Gear: Anglerfish Trawl BT 195


  1. To undertake a nationally co-ordinated demersal trawling survey of Anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius and Lophius budegassa) at Rockall Bank (ICES area VIb and Northwestern Shelf (ICES area VIa) inside the 1000m isobaths.
  2. To additionally record and map distributions of Megrim (Lepidorhombus wiffiagonis), Four-Spot Megrim (Lepidorhombus boscii) Cod (Gadus morhua), Blue Skate (Dipturus cf. flossada) and Flapper Skate (Dipturus cf. intermedia).
  3. To collect biological data on Anglerfish species, Cod, Megrim, Four-Spot Megrim, Blue Skate and Flapper Skate.


This trawl survey follows a set of protocols drawn up by an industry science survey planning group made up of Marine Scotland scientists and fishing representatives. These protocols share much in common with the sampling regimes described in Marine Scotland standing instructions for demersal trawl surveys.

The survey track and sampling locations will be delivered to the skipper prior to departure.Figure 1 0818H Monk Survey Positions


One haul of 60 minutes duration will be made at each sampling station; trawling operations will occur in waters up to a maximum of 1000 m. A bottom contact sensor will be mounted on the footrope.

Further Information:

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Getting in some training with the Coastguard

Tue, 2018-05-01 10:00

WinchmanEarlier in April, we received a request from Shetland Coastguard to help with their training for the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter – and the crew of MPV Jura were only too happy to do so!

This isn’t the first time we have helped the Coastguard and it usually just involves the Coastguard helicopter performing exercises around and with the vessel, which enables them to train and develop their skills for when a real situation arises. A typical exercise involves the helicopter landing a crewman on the aft deck of the vessel, sometimes with a recovery stretcher, then performing manoeuvres in close proximity to the ship. This is also a very worthwhile exercise for ship’s crew as it provides experience and exposure of what will happen in the event of an emergency, such as a medical evacuation of a person from the ship by helicopter, or if and of the protection vessels was participating in a multi-agency rescue operation.

Before operations can start, both the helicopter pilot and the ships Commanding Officer will speak by radio and agree if conditions are appropriate. Once agreed, the duty officer notifies the ship’s crew and confirms there is no work being carried out on deck during the training exercise. The ship’s crew will also ensure that the decks are clear of any loose objects, prepare emergency equipment and ensure that they have the correct equipment in place, including helmets, gloves, hearing protection and high visibility jackets.

On this occasion, it was requested that MPV Jura maintained a steady speed of about 9 knots on a constant heading while the helicopter performed hover manoeuvres approximately 15 to 20 metres above the aft deck as well as on the port and starboard sides of the vessel. Following this, the helicopter pilot called to indicate they would like to send a winchman down to land on the aft deck and then recover him.

For this part of the exercise, it is imperative that the MPV Jura crew are on high standby as an error of judgement could result in a serious incident to the winchman which would require a genuine emergency response. With a south easterly wind of around 18 knots,  the helicopter pilot requested a heading of 220’ and took up a position on the port quarter so that the winchman would be landed through the wind. This was done with great skill and the winchman arrived safely on the aft deck. Once on board, a stretcher was sent down from the helicopter for the winchman to prepare before both winchman and stretcher were recovered from the ship back to the helicopter.

Following recovery, the exercise continued with further manoeuvres around MPV Jura before calling the Bridge to inform us that the exercise was complete, that it had been very worthwhile training exercise for their crew and to thank the Master and our crew for their help during it.

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Celebrating Compliance and Year of the Young Person – John Bruce

Thu, 2018-04-26 10:00

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

Meet John Bruce one of our Business Managers at Marine Scotland Compliance. Read on to find out more.

Who are you and what do you do?
I’m John Bruce, one of 5 Business Managers with Marine Scotland, Compliance. I manage 16 staff in the 5 district offices that comprise Area 2 in the north of Scotland. These are Ullapool, Lochinver, Kinlochbervie, Scrabster and Kirkwall. My job is really about making sure officers at the coast have the tools they require to ensure compliance of the vast array of EU, UK and Scottish legislation that covers the marine environment and that they do this in a consistent manner along with their counterparts in the other 13 offices dotted around the Scottish coast.

What’s your career path been – how did you get here?
I grew up in the fishing community in the Fit o‘ the Toon in Arbroath. All my father’s side of the family were fishers and I’ve been involved in the industry since I could walk. Everything from cleaning the boat out on a Friday for pocket money, to mending wooden boxes (yes I am that old) and delivering ice from the back of a flatbed lorry at weekends. I first went to sea properly at 13, spending 5 days pair trawling in the Forties. My dad thought it would put me off a career in fishing. However I loved it. Most holidays from there on in were spent fishing. Everyone told me not to do it but it’s in the blood and I was well, excuse the pun, hooked. Despite this I could, however, see the sharp decline in the industry in front of my eyes so once I finished school, and with the advice of my peers ringing in my ears, I very reluctantly started University in Dundee studying, ironically, Business Management. I absolutely hated it. So at 17, I applied to an advert in the Fishing News for a Fishery Officer but given one of the criteria was that you had to be 18, I didn’t give it much hope. Much to my amazement I was given an interview and then offered a job but could only start when turned 18.

That led to my first posting as Fishery Officer in Lochinver in early 1991 and later that year I transferred to Campbeltown. I had an extremely enjoyable 4 years there before being transferred to Peterhead in a major coastal restructure in 1995. I stayed there as a Fishery Officer until 2000 where I took up promotion to Senior Fishery Officer in Kirkwall, which is still my favourite posting. In 2004 I was transferred to Ullapool and in 2005 I was promoted to Enforcement Manager which meant I took on management responsibility for Lochinver and Kinlochbervie. Then in 2008 as part of the preparation to the transition to Marine Scotland I became a Business Manager with responsibility then for Portree, Stornoway, Ullapool, Lochinver and Kinlochbervie.

What made you decide to be involved in Outreach?
Having been involved in the fishing industry all my life, I obviously have a passion for it and I’ve always been willing to talk to anyone about it who asks. The public have a huge appetite for knowledge about the industry and are always asking questions. Ask any officer who has stood on a pier when a busload of tourists arrives! I was first approached by a local school who knew what I did and wanted me to give a talk on fishing to all age groups. It seemed to go down very well with the young people and probably even more so with the teachers who asked me where to apply. From there I became aware of STEM programme and became an Ambassador which led to me really discovering how much interest there is in the industry and since then I have delivered talks, demonstrations and even been involved science fairs at schools all over the highlands.

What do you enjoy most about doing Outreach?
At every event the enthusiasm from young people, parents and teachers just pours out. Everyone wants to know, learn and become better informed about the marine environment and how to look after it and manage the resources it provides more responsibly. I love the passion that those who I speak to then display once they have learned and had their questions asked. Hopefully this triggers a lightbulb moment for them and they will want to become involved in the Marine Industry and also hopefully it makes them think about the environment and then the next generation will look after it better than perhaps previous generations have.

Would you encourage others to get involved in Outreach too?
Definitely. It’s a great way to get across a positive message of what Marine Scotland does to the general public. On a personal level I find the level of engagement with all ages really rewarding and for those of us who live in remote communities it provides that community with great access to something that they would possibly only be available to them if they travelled a few hundred miles to a hub such as Inverness.

Further Information

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Joint Warrior Training Activity: 24th April – 4 May 2018

Thu, 2018-04-19 10:08

Joint Warrior

Exercise Joint Warrior (JW), organised by the Ministry of Defence, is part of a major programme of exercises involving land forces, warships, submarines and aircraft from all the NATO partners, across the UK. The next exercise, Joint Warrior 181, will take place between 24 April and 4 May 2018, mostly near Cape Wrath (live firing) and down the west coast of Scotland (submarine, warship activity and mine warfare).

During 2018 there will be only this one exercise. The autumn session is being replaced this year by a larger exercise in Norway.

Further Information



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Vacancy: EU Exit Legislation Programme Manager (closing date 1 May 2018)

Tue, 2018-04-17 15:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Legislation Programme Manager within Marine Scotland based in Edinburgh. 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.

One of the Scottish Government’s key priorities at present is to support Scottish Ministers to protect Scotland’s Place in Europe, and to plan for protecting and promoting Scotland’s marine interests.  A UK exit from the EU will have a significant legislative impact on the work of Marine Scotland with the vast majority of our legislation and regulatory framework deriving from EU requirements. The Directorate therefore needs to ensure that planning and preparation are in place to ensure the necessary transfer of the EU’s legislative framework arising from the UK’s exit from the EU.

Qualification Required:
You should have, or be expected to obtain, one of the following:

  • A minimum of a 2:2 degree in a legal discipline or equivalent politics, economics or environmental studies.
  • A Masters Degree which contains a high level of environmental legal or policy analysis.

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. Excellent people skills and an ability to build relationships with people and to make connections at all levels across different organisations.
  2. A strong understanding of legislative issues as they apply to Scotland, including experience working with, and analysing, primary and secondary legislation. The ability to think strategically and creatively to develop and implement policy and legal solutions effectively within the wider strategic context.
  3. Excellent oral and written communication skills including in order to provide clear and concise advice and briefing to Scottish Ministers and senior officials.
  4. Proven ability of managing numerous competing priorities in a fast-paced environment and ability to work flexibly.

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 Caro Cowan or telephone 0131 244 48432.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact Helen McLean on telephone 0131 244 8217.

Further Information:


The post Vacancy: EU Exit Legislation Programme Manager (closing date 1 May 2018) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

How the HoTRiverS Project is helping us to understand and protect Scotland’s rivers

Tue, 2018-04-17 10:00

3D ‘structure-from-motion’ map of Girnock Burn showing forest cover

One of the ways in which climate change is likely to impact Scotland’s rivers is through an increase in water temperature, particularly during summer months. Stream temperature is of great importance to the growth and survival of a range of iconic fish species like Atlantic salmon and Brown trout, which are relatively intolerant of high temperature. Hence, there are concerns that elevated stream temperature could alter the thermal suitability of Scotland’s rivers to a range of native freshwater species. As a result, researchers at Marine Scotland Science (MSS) and the University of Birmingham (UoB) have collaborated on a number of projects to better understand stream temperature patterns in Scotland’s rivers and identify strategies for reducing the impacts of climate change on stream temperature. One of these collaborations, the EU-funded HoTRiverS project (Heterogeneity of Temperature in Rivers and Streams), is demonstrating how cutting-edge technology can inform river management and policy in the fight against climate change.

River managers across the UK are planting trees to shade rivers during the warmest parts of the day. However, if we want to improve our understanding of the role of trees in reducing stream temperature, we need to be better able to characterise both tree cover and the effects of river bankside shading. This information can be difficult or costly to obtain, especially in remote locations. To address this key research problem, the HoTRiverS project team developed a novel based methodology to simulate the impacts of bankside tree shading on stream temperature. During summer 2017, they used a drone (a small unmanned quadcopter equipped with a high-resolution camera) to obtain high resolution aerial photography of Girnock Burn, a tributary of the Aberdeenshire River Dee where Marine Scotland has monitored salmon populations for more than 50 years.). Using a technique called ‘structure-from-motion photogrammetry’, which enables the extraction of 3D data from 2D photos (in much the same way as stereo vision allows humans to perceive depth), they were able to generate a highly accurate 3D map of tree heights in the lower Girnock Burn (see picture at the top of this article).

Impact of bankside tree shading


By inputting the resulting tree height data into a computer model that simulates the impacts of tree shading on stream temperature, the new methodology clearly highlights the extent to which tree shading reduces stream temperature in the lower Girnock Burn (see graph above). This new low-cost, high-accuracy technique has the potential to improve our understanding about how and where tree shading produces optimal stream temperature reductions. By applying the drone-based methodology to other locations in Scotland and across the UK, it is hoped that this research will furnish river scientists and managers with the information necessary to understand the effects of woodland in different geographical locations. Based on this information, new tools can be developed to target planting to locations where it will have the greatest benefits in reducing the effects of climate change.

Thermal image mosaic of Baddoch Burn showing variation in water surface temperature

Furthermore, the HoTRiverS project is highlighting other ways in which drone technology can help scientists to better understand stream temperature patterns. Previous research has shown how airborne thermal infrared (TIR) river surveys can be used to identify important cool-water habitats used by salmon and trout during summer high temperature. However, TIR survey flights using conventional aircraft are very costly meaning that the location of these critical habitats often remains unknown. In order to try and resolve this issue, the HoTRiverS research team used a drone equipped with a miniaturised thermal infrared imaging camera to map surface water temperature patterns in Baddoch Burn, another salmon monitoring tributary in the Aberdeenshire Dee catchment, as illustrated above.

Although the analysis of these data is ongoing, early indications are that the drone-based thermal imaging data will be useful for detecting small-scale variations in surface water temperature that are of key importance to fish and other species.

This detailed spatial data on river temperature has been supplemented with observations obtained from in-situ temperature dataloggers and automated weather stations (pictured above) to characterise microclimate and heat exchange processes. By coupling these datasets, it will be possible to develop a high resolution computer model capable of characterising the physical processes (ie. solar radiation, evaporation, groundwater inputs) that drive observed stream temperature patterns in the burn.

In the future, this model will help us to understand and predict how future climate and land-use changes might impact stream temperature in Baddoch Burn. This collaboration between MSS and UoB demonstrates how advances in geospatial technology and computer modelling are helping to better understand and protect Scotland’s freshwater environments. Through the results of these cutting-edge research projects, it is hoped that we will arrive at a better understanding of the interactions between the landscape features, climate change and river temperature with a view to preserving Scotland’s valuable rivers and fish populations for future generations.

Dr. Steve Dugdale

Dr. Iain Malcolm

Prof. David Hannah

Further information:

Recent/related publications:

Dugdale, S.J., Malcolm, I.A., Kantola, K., & Hannah, D.M. (2018). Stream temperature under contrasting riparian forest cover: Understanding thermal dynamics and heat exchange processes. Science of The Total Environment, 610–611, 1375-1389

Jackson, F.L., Fryer, R.J., Hannah, D.M., Millar, C.P., & Malcolm, I.A. (2018). A spatio-temporal statistical model of maximum daily river temperatures to inform the management of Scotland’s Atlantic salmon rivers under climate change. Science of The Total Environment, 612, 1543-1558

Dugdale, S.J., Hannah, D.M., & Malcolm, I.A. (2017). River temperature modelling: A review of process-based approaches and future directions. Earth-Science Reviews, 175, 97-113

Jackson, F.L., Hannah, D.M., Fryer, R.J., Millar, C.P., & Malcolm, I.A. (2017). Development of spatial regression models for predicting summer river temperatures from landscape characteristics: Implications for land and fisheries management. Hydrological Processes, 31, 1225-1238

Garner, G., Malcolm, I.A., Sadler, J.P., & Hannah, D.M. (2014). What causes cooling water temperature gradients in a forested stream reach? Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 5361-5376

Garner, G., Malcolm, I.A., Sadler, J.P., & Hannah, D.M. (2017). The role of riparian vegetation density, channel orientation and water velocity in determining river temperature dynamics. Journal of Hydrology, 553


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Twinkle twinkle little starfish

Thu, 2018-04-12 10:00

Survey: 0518A

Duration: 14 April – 2 May 2018

Gear: Scallop dredges


  1. To carry out a survey of scallop stocks on the West Coast.
  2. To age, measure and assess shell damage on all scallops caught.
  3. To Identify and sample additional areas of commercial interest to the scallop fishery.
  4. To collect information on by-catch of other commercial fish and shellfish species.
  5. To identify, quantify numbers, and damage assess of starfish species in all dredge tows.
  6. To collect frozen whole scallops for heavy metal testing as part of the OSPAR assessment of hazardous substances in the marine environment.
  7. To undertake underwater filming trials using a Go-pro camera in sheltered areas.

The survey will depart on 14 April and will make passage for the west coast stations on the survey plan.

Scallop dredge hauls will be made at sites used on previous surveys as shown on the map below. Hauls will be of 30 minutes duration. In addition to the historical tows, additional tows will be done in the Clyde if time permits. From each haul, all of the scallops will be measured to the half centimeter below and aged. Numbers and size distribution of commercial fish and shellfish species will be recorded along with scallop shell damage, starfish numbers and species. Tissue samples will also be collected from selected sites and frozen for heavy metal analysis back at the laboratory.

Further Information:

Scallop dredge sites

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Celebrating the Year of the Engineer – Meet Bill Leiper

Tue, 2018-04-10 10:00

Bill aboard the RRS Challenger

As we mentioned in our blog in January, 2018 is the Year of the Engineer as well as the Year of the Young Person. Over the course of the year, we’ll be introducing you to some of our incredibly talented engineers, as well as showing your some of their work. Next up, we hear from our Net Store Manager, Bill.

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Bill Leiper – the Net Store Manager at the Marine Lab in Aberdeen (the one in the yellow hard hat!).

Why is what you do important?

We are the last remaining net store in Aberdeen, a city once buoyed by a vibrant fishing industry. They are very few skilled and experienced net menders and riggers left in the North East, let alone Aberdeen.  From our in-house, purpose built net store, we provide a highly professional and particular service to, principally, the science sector.  A large part of the work is dedicated to the numerous and wide-ranging fishing surveys that take place throughout the year.  We make, mend and repair a large variety of nets and dredges in addition to supplying and servicing all the associated gear that accompanies this.  Driven, in part by ICES, we work to our own exacting specialised standards.  We regularly make and supply a diverse range of moorings for different departments in the lab.  If any of this afore mentioned work was to be outsourced and completed externally, the cost would very quickly become staggering.

What’s your career path been – how did you get here?

I’m a Torry lad who grew up near the lab. Like a few of my pals at the time, I was distracted in school.  We were sent en masse to trawling school, as was standard in those days.  Before finishing my first week there, my class was asked “Does anyone fancy an apprenticeship as a net rigger?”.  Two of us raised our hands.  I was quicker.  Two weeks later  I started in the lab, on the 6th of January 1976.  Four years later I was given a hand written piece of paper.  It signified the completion of my apprenticeship. I still have this original letter at home somewhere.

What’s your proudest achievement so far?

Net storeIn a work sense I have always and still take great pride and pleasure in teaching new skills to those willing to learn.

Although I am now based almost entirely in the lab, I used to spend a bit of time at sea. One trip of note came about after the Braer ran aground off Shetland in 1993.  I was tasked to accompany the Merchant Navy crewed vessel Challenger (Charter) to the site of the spill to conduct fishing operations to monitor contamination.  We fished with a beam trawl on a single wire and, as the only person aboard with any fishing knowledge, I came to effectively command the operations of the vessel. A four day trip very quickly turned into 24 days.  I think I earned at least a stripe.

What would you say to any aspiring young engineers?

Probably unsurprisingly, listen and learn. Stick in and do your best but if you’ve found something you love to do then this will come naturally and without hassle.

Why, in your opinion, do you think outreach is important/why do you do it?

Outreach broadens the mind. It casts the net and gives people an opportunity to consider things they otherwise may not have.

I particularly enjoy seeing the excitement and enthusiasm of primary school kids when they come to learn about what I do. Unlike the often disgruntled and disinterested teens, they are keen to ask countless questions.  The net store is a compulsory stop on the show and tell tours.

And one fun fact about you?

I know quite a lot about Torry. I know that there are two Aitkens bakery shops in Torry.  I love paradise slices from Aitkens.

The post Celebrating the Year of the Engineer – Meet Bill Leiper appeared first on Marine Scotland.

What’s your anglerfish?

Thu, 2018-04-05 15:21

Survey: 0218H – MFV Genesis BF505

Duration: 6-20 April 2018

Fishing Gear: Anglerfish Trawl BT 195


  1. To undertake a nationally co-ordinated demersal trawling survey of Anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius and Lophius budegassa) in the Northern North Sea, ICES area IVa.
  2. To record and map distributions of Megrim (Lepidorhombus wiffiagonis), Four-Spot Megrim (Lepidorhombus boscii) Cod (Gadus morhua), Blue Skate (Dipturus cf. flossada) and Flapper Skate (Dipturus cf. intermedia).
  3. To collect biological data on Anglerfish species, Cod, Megrim, Four-Spot Megrim, Blue Skate and Flapper Skate.


This trawl survey follows a set of protocols drawn up by an industry science survey planning group made up of Marine Scotland scientists and fishing representatives. These protocols share much in common with the sampling regimes described in Marine Scotland standing instructions for demersal trawl surveys.


One haul of 60 minutes duration will be made at each sampling station; trawling operations will occur in waters up to a maximum of 1000 m. Daily starting times will be 06:00 hours and all trawling should be complete by approximately 23:30 hours each night.  The Scanmar system will be used to monitor wing spread, door spread and distance covered during each haul.  A bottom contact sensor will be mounted on the footrope.

Catches will be worked up according to the protocols for Marine Scotland Anglerfish surveys which are similar in principle to Marine Scotland standing instructions.

Further information

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