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Hearing things with COMPASS

Wed, 2017-11-29 09:00
 Positions of the moorings to be retrieved and deployed during the Alba na Mara trip 1917A

Figure 1: Positions of the moorings to be retrieved and deployed during the Alba na Mara trip 1917A

On November 6th the Alba na Mara set sail once more to deploy acoustic listening devices in the west coast of Scotland. A total of six moorings containing broadband sound recording devices and cetacean echolocation “click detectors”  were to be deployed during the trip. The map below gives the planned locations for deployment.

These deployments were the first instalment of a collaborative biological monitoring network that will form part of a five year collaborative project called COMPASS, funded under EU INTERREG VA. The COMPASS network of moorings aims to gather data that will characterise and monitor the marine environment in relation to protected areas and species, and improve oceanographic models in Scottish, Northern Irish and Irish waters.

 MSS scientists on Alba na Mara preparing moorings for deployment

Figure 2: MSS scientists on Alba na Mara preparing moorings for deployment

The COMPASS deployment positions were spread out around the Minches strategically to gather relevant acoustic data. Shipping lines, fishing activity, physical processes and marine fauna all generate noise. This array seeks to discern their contribution to the acoustic environment. For example the northmost mooring at Tolsta will provide data that will help to generate an acoustic baseline for the well-established shipping lane noise through the winter. Other deployments have been sited within or in the vicinity of the Inner Hebrides and the Minches pSAC to protect harbour porpoises, and one of the moorings will be in the Stanton Banks protected area. The variety of habitats that the array covers will create a highly informative and varied data set, and will be used to explore the importance of underwater noise in influencing the quality of the marine environmental quality for marine mammals.


Alba also recovered moorings that had been deployed at eight positions in the Minches under EMFF funding in August 2017 . Some of these were not collected due to weather constraints and will be re-visited as soon as it becomes logistically possible.

 Approaching the deployment position for a mooring

Figure 3: Approaching the deployment position for a mooring

During the survey we gave Ross Culloch a newly employed cetacean scientist in the Renewables and Energy Programme, his first taste of the Alba na Mara, and hosted Denise Risch from SAMS, Dunstaffnage.

The weather did not exactly play ball and a few decisions were based around maximising the outcomes despite the strong winds and rough seas. But that is what can be expected at this time of year in the Minches.

We will keep you updated on the next cruises for this project.

Further Information

The post Hearing things with COMPASS appeared first on Marine Scotland.

New paper on amoeba studies published

Mon, 2017-11-27 10:00

NC3r logoA new scientific journal article written by researchers at Marine Scotland Science (MSS), in collaboration with the Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre (SFIRC) at the University of Aberdeen, has been published in the Journal of Fish Diseases.

The principal author, Rachel Chance, is a PhD. student funded by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3R’s).

The paper, entitled “Effect of repeated exposure to AQUI-S® on the viability and growth of Neoparamoeba perurans”, focuses on the effect of fish anaesthetics on the amoeba species Neoparamoeba perurans.

Neoparamoeba perurans is an amoeboid ectoparasite, naturally occurring in the marine environment, which is responsible for amoebic gill disease (AGD) in salmon and other fish species. During AGD infection, these microscopic amoebae attach to the sensitive gill tissue, causing excess mucus production, inflammation and damage to the fragile gill filaments and lamellae. Arising in the mid 1980’s in Tasmanian salmonid aquaculture, AGD is now a major issue for European aquaculture, impacting in particular upon farmed Atlantic salmon.

The aim of the paper was to find out if repeated exposure to different fish anaesthetics had any impact on the growth and viability of N. perurans. Researchers at SFIRC and MSS are interested in this question as they wish to develop an improved experimental model to better understand the disease process and how the fish respond to AGD.  This could lead to better treatments. The improved model consists of repeated non-invasive sampling (such as light gill sampling with cotton swabs) of individual infected fish. Material obtained from the swabs can be used to look at immune and other responses, and number of parasites. It is hoped that because the disease can be followed over time in the same fish, that the data will be less variable, more informative, and less fish will be needed. These analyses are still ongoing but a first step in achieving this goal was to see if repeated anaesthesia, used to reduce any stress experienced by the fish during sampling, would affect the amoebae and change artificially the disease outcome. The published paper describes how AQUI-S®, an anaesthetic which closely resembles clove oil, had no impact upon both the viability nor growth of colonies of the N. perurans amoebae grown in vitro in the laboratory. This outcome allowed the non-invasive sampling approach to be tested in vivo with infected fish.

Further Information

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Vacancy – Species Distribution Modeller (Closing date – 21 December 2017)

Fri, 2017-11-24 10:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Species Distribution Modeller within the Ecology and Conservation group of 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.

The main role of this post is to develop and lead on research themes relating to: species distribution modelling, marine spatial planning and geographic information systems (GIS), fisheries effort data (VMS), MPA design, and marine conservation.  The post will include participation in research surveys and the production of peer-review manuscripts and will provide logistical and technical support (e.g. statistical and GIS advice).

Qualifications Required
A PhD in biological or environmental science with a very strong numerical component.

Essential Criteria
1. A proven ability in working with large databases (e.g. PostGreSQL), spatial statistics, computational platforms (e.g.  R), GIS software (e.g. QGIS, ArcGIS) and spatial databases (e.g. PostGIS).
2. Sea-going expertise in benthic mapping on board research vessels and the willingness to travel, and, on occasion, work unsocial hours.
3. Evidence of excellent organisational skills and the ability to work both within a project team and independently.

Desirable Criteria
1. Experience of handling fisheries effort data (VMS).
2. Familiarity with Linux, working across platforms, and using off-site data centres.

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 Dr Peter Wright at or or phone 0131 2443224.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact HR Resourcing on 0131 244 8217 or via email.

You should read each of the Essential Criteria and think about a time or an example that can help demonstrate your knowledge/skills. Remember, this must be evidence based and your answers should be clear, concise and reflect what actions you undertook. You may want to use the STAR(R) approach to respond to each criterion.

Further Information


The post Vacancy – Species Distribution Modeller (Closing date – 21 December 2017) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy – Physical Oceanographer (Closing date – 19 December 2017)

Thu, 2017-11-23 10:53

We are currently seeking applications for a Physical Oceanographer within the Oceanography Group of Marine Scotland Science (MSS) 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 Oceanography Group provides the physical environment context across a wide range of multidisciplinary scientific applications in MSS. The very diverse duties of this post include data acquisition (including in the field), processing and quality assurance, scientific programming and interaction with specialist oceanographic instrumentation.

Qualifications Required
A relevant graduate qualification in a mathematical, physical, earth science or any other relevant discipline with evidence of a good numeric ability.

Essential Criteria
1. Experience of basic statistical or mathematical analysis of data using appropriate software tools (e.g. Excel, Matlab, R).
2. Experience of basic report writing.
3. Basic knowledge of quality assurance procedures, data handling and processing.
4. Good verbal communication skills to ensure that you can work effectively within the team.
5. As this post requires working on-board research and commercial fishing vessels you must be willing and able to work at sea. You must hold an ENG1 (off-shore) medical certificate or have the ability to pass the required medical.

Desirable Criteria
1. Experience and/or a relevant post-graduate qualification in a branch of aquatic or earth sciences or any other relevant discipline with clear evidence of a strong numeric ability; ideally, physical oceanography.
2. Sea-going and/or field working experience, in particular experience in the use of standard oceanographic equipment in the field.

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 Dr Alejandro Gallego ( and or telephone 0131 2442697).

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the resourcing team on 0131 244 5597 or via

You should read each of the Essential/Desirable Criteria and think about a time or an example that can help demonstrate your knowledge/skills. Remember, this must be evidence based and your answers should be clear, concise and reflect what actions you undertook. You may want to use the STAR(R) approach to respond to each criterion.

 Further information

The post Vacancy – Physical Oceanographer (Closing date – 19 December 2017) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy – Fishery Assistant (closing date 30 November 2017)

Wed, 2017-11-22 10:00

Marine Scotland Compliance is responsible for deterring and detecting illegal activities through effective compliance and enforcement arrangements. We employ Marine staff that are responsible for the crewing of Marine Scotland Compliance’s three Marine Protection vessels and Coastal Inspection staff, who make up the Sea Fisheries Inspectorate.  The Coastal staff are located at 18 Fishery Offices around the coast of Scotland, and at the Registration of Buyers and Sellers (RBS) Unit which is based in Aberdeen.

Applications are invited for a Fishery Assistant post within the Coastal Operations team based at Aberdeen Fishery Office. The Fishery Assistant is the normal first point of contact for stakeholders, other government departments/agencies and the general public to Marine Scotland be it in person or over the phone. As such, they will have knowledge of Marine Scotland’s Aims and Objectives and therefore be able to put the caller in touch with the correct person.

The Fishery Assistant provides general administrative support and must be able to work with minimal supervision. They are responsible for the timely and accurate input of fisheries data and analysis of same.

Main Duties
Responsibilities include :

  • Word processing
  • Licence issues
  • Statistical input and data capture on computer
  • Basic figure work
  • Dealing with the public and stakeholders.
  • General office work.

Essential Criteria
1. Working knowledge of Marine Scotland IT systems and knowledge of Microsoft Packages.
2. Knowledge of Marine Scotland Structure.

Team Work
Customer Service
Information Management

Minimum time in post and Development Opportunities
The successful candidate will be expected to remain in post for a minimum of 3 years unless successful at gaining promotion to a higher Band or Grade.

Provisional Dates for Sift and Assessment
The sift will take place around the – 4th December 2017
Assessment to follow on the – to be confirmed.

For further information on this vacancy, please contact Duncan MacGregor on 0131 244 3930 or by email To apply please complete the online application form.

Further Information

The post Vacancy – Fishery Assistant (closing date 30 November 2017) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Meet our scientists – Dr Coby Needle

Tue, 2017-11-21 10:00

Coby Needle

Today is World Fisheries Day, so what better day to introduce you to our Sea Fisheries Programme Manager, Dr Coby Needle!

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Dr Coby Needle, and for the past two (and a bit) years I have been the Sea Fisheries Programme Manager at Marine Scotland Science, based in the Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen. My “science” work centres on fisheries stock assessment and advice, including management strategy evaluations and the development of stock assessment methods, and in recent years I have also delved into fleet dynamics and understanding why fishermen do what they do.  This all complements my “management” work – leading a team of around 60 people does take a lot of time and energy, but I enjoy helping folk do what they are trying to do, as well as directing the science that the Programme is involved in.  It certainly isn’t dull!

Why is what you do important?

The Sea Fisheries Programme, and by extension Marine Scotland Science, is the principal source of fisheries management advice in Scotland, and the work we do is therefore crucial to the development and maintenance of sustainable fish stocks and fisheries for the foreseeable future. This starts with sampling and data collection at fish markets and on board commercial and research vessels, and goes through many analysis, modelling and consultation steps to the final annual advice for policy colleagues in Edinburgh, London and Brussels.  Of course, I only play a small part in this, but it’s good to know that the work I am doing is truly applied and can make a positive difference to people’s lives and the environment in which we live.

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

I was born in Adelaide, and we moved to Scotland when I was still quite young – this was when the cheapest way to come to Europe was still by sea, so my first seatime was a three-week jaunt on an Italian cruise liner. I was brought up in Edinburgh, but moved to Aberdeen for my BSc in Maths and Computing.  A brief stint at Strathclyde for an MSc in Applied Maths intervened, but no-one ever truly leaves Aberdeen and I came back to do my MSc summer project (with Bill Turrell), get married (to Jillian) and have our children (Lucy and Lewis, now 22 and 19 respectively).  I was an itinerant mathematician and worked relatively short-term contracts at the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology in Glassel, and the Department of Geography at Aberdeen University, before coming back to the Lab for good in the Population Studies Group under Phil Kunzlik.  And here I’ve been ever since (including a part-time PhD at Strathclyde), with working life becoming slightly more complicated (but always enjoyable) and the offices slightly larger as time goes by.

If you weren’t doing this, what do you think you’d be doing instead?

I love sport of all kinds, and have become obsessed with running, swimming, football, cricket, golf, tai chi, skiing, squash and cycling (amongst others) over the years. Sadly I’ve only ever been moderate at best at any of them, but if I had found a sport I was good at then I would like to have tried becoming a professional.  Alternatively, and this is still an option – the life of a golf greenskeeper does appeal!

What’s your favourite fishy fact?

It’s not really a fishy fact, but when you think about it, the thermal properties of water are quite amazing – specifically, that the density of water increases as temperature falls to around 4°C before reducing again to the extent that ice floats. Without this weird feature, there would of course be no life on Earth – which seems like a handy coincidence…

And what about one fun fact about you?

I love to play the guitar (the one in my office isn’t just for show…), but the only times I have played in public have been the Lab Christmas band, and one year for the Lab Quiz (some of you might remember I would mangle some popular toons, and then the quizees had to name the bands and songs). So in my retirement, if the greenskeeper job doesn’t work out, I can always take up busking.

Further Information

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Collecting PAM’s things

Mon, 2017-11-20 10:00

Duration: 18-27 November 2017

Gear: Surface and subsurface PAM moorings


To retrieve a series of moorings comprising dhan buoys (eight surface marked moorings) or acoustic release systems (22 subsurface moorings) and the acoustic recording devices attached to them (30 C-POD and 10 SM2M/SM3M) as part of the east coast marine mammal monitoring programme (see Table 1 and Figure 1).


Alba na Mara will sail from Fraserburgh on the morning of 18 November and make for the first mooring position. The ultimate order in which the moorings are retrieved will be dictated by the weather forecast and the likely shelter that can be provided by the east coast.

Acoustically triggered moorings that may have malfunctioned but can be located by echosounder will be grappled for using the creeping hook attached to the trawl warp.

It may be necessary for Alba na Mara to make a partial unloading of retrieved moorings to ensure enough available space on the vessel.  If this is the case the vessel will visit the most suitable port depending on her location at the time.

If time allows Alba na Mara will attempt to retrieve further moorings in Stonehaven Bay and Aberdeen Bay. R. Main may join the vessel for Aberdeen Bay retrievals which have acoustic release systems and salmon receivers attached to them.

Positions of all moorings

Figure 1: Positions of all 30 moorings, with depth in metres and type of mooring to be retrieved during 2017A.

Mooring Information

Table 1: Name, position, mooring type and use of SM unit or not of all 30 moorings deployed during 1217A.

Further Information:

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Recognising the Marine Heritage of Scapa Flow

Fri, 2017-11-17 10:00

Earlier this year, we were involved with a joint project to survey the German High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow, Orkney. Historic Environment Scotland is now reviewing the protection of these wrecks of as they are scheduled monuments, and they would like to explore if that continues to be the best way of recognising and protecting this hugely important part of our wartime heritage.


Orkney has one of the most outstanding collections of First World War and Second World War remains, both above ground and under water.

The array of underwater archaeological remains includes wrecks from the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet in June 1919, two major naval disasters with significant loss of life (the loss of the HMS Vanguard in 1917, and HMS Royal Oak in 1939), and the supply and defence of the Royal Navy anchorage using block ships, barriers, and networks of mobile boom defences.

A major resource for salvage from 1919 to the 1970s, nowadays the wrecks of the German High Seas Fleet are a significant heritage asset, attracting visitors from all over the world and contributing to the economy of Orkney.

Recent survey work by ourselves and our partners on Orkney has shed new light on how much survives underwater. Our research shows that the condition of the wrecks is deteriorating and these important remains will not last forever.

Andrew Fulton, Senior Designations Officer, explains more about the review, “We’d like to talk to everyone who has an interest in Scapa Flow to hear their views about its marine heritage. Scapa Flow is an important harbour and is used by many different communities and we’d like to know more about this too.

“We’ll be in Orkney during the first week of December and I’d really like to talk to as many people with an involvement in Scapa Flow as possible. The feedback we get will help inform how the current protection of the German High Seas Fleet wrecks is working and whether any changes need to be made.

“I’m also looking for views on whether any of the other wartime underwater sites within Scapa Flow merit designation and if, so, what would be the best mechanism to achieve this.”

There are a variety of ways which the public can offer their views. We have an online survey which is open to everyone and can be accessed on our website at Andrew will be holding drop-in sessions at three locations in Hoy, Kirkwall and Stromness between 4 and 7 December 2017. Everyone with an interest in Scapa Flow is encouraged to come along and share their views. More details about the drop-in sessions will be available on our website

Event Details

Monday 4th December – YM Hall, Longhope, Hoy 3:30pm-7:30pm

Tuesday 5th Decmber – Pickaquoy Centre, Kirkwall 4:00pm-8:00pm

Wednesday 6th December – John Rae Room, Old Warehouse Building, Orkney Council, Stromness. 5:00pm -8:00pm

Thursday 7th December – John Rae Room, Old Warehouse Building, Orkney Council, Stromness. 5:00pm-8:00pm

Notes for editors: 

  1. Seven wrecks from the German High Seas Fleet were designated as scheduled monuments in 2001. The scheduling means that visitors can dive on the wrecks on a look but don’t touch basis so long as no damage occurs or objects are removed. Scheduled monument consent from Historic Environment Scotland is required for works to a scheduled monument.
  2. The wrecks of the HMS Royal Oak and HMS Vanguard are designated as controlled sites under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986. The responsible authority is the Ministry of Defence. Although a hugely important part of the story of Scapa Flow, their status does not form part of this review.

About Historic Environment Scotland

  1. Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. HES is also the lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
    • Historic Scotland is a sub brand of Scotland’s new public heritage body, Historic Environment Scotland
  2. Historic Environment Scotland is a registered Scottish Charity. Scottish Charity No. SC045925
  3.  You can keep up to date with news from Historic Environment Scotland and register for media release email alerts. If you ish to unsubscribe, please contact us.
  4.  2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

Running from 1 January to 31 December, the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a celebration of Scotland’s people, our distinct culture and traditions, our historic landscapes, attractions, icons, as well as our hidden gems and amazing stories.

From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, listed buildings to historic battlefields, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, 2017 is the year to explore Scotland’s fascinating past. Discover how this past has shaped the thriving Scotland we know today and its future, with its proud and welcoming spirit.

Enjoy the splendour of some of Scotland’s most famous and dramatic castles, visit your clan’s homeland, experience the breathtaking sounds of a hundred pipers skirling or stare in wonder at the ever-changing natural landscapes that have played a key part in Scotland’s history.

Discover tales of legendary kings and queens, Jacobite battles, stories handed down from one generation to the next, all set against Scotland’s unique panoramic landscapes and enriching culture.

From the Scottish Borders to Orkney, and from Fife to the Isle of Skye – every area of Scotland has its own story to share. Relive Scotland’s past to the present day through a range of exciting events, attractions and activities during 2017 and come make history with us!


Contact:         Seumas Skinner, Communications Officer

Direct line:     0131 668 8714

Mobile:           07776 243 809


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Testing the water with an International Bottom Trawl Survey

Mon, 2017-11-13 10:00

1617S Trawl positions for each core station (solid circle) and alternative/additional positions (empty circles) will be added as time allows.

Duration: 13 November – 3 December 2017

Fishing Gear: GOV Trawl (BT137) and ground gear D (hoppers)


  1. To participate in the ICES co-ordinated western division demersal trawling survey.
  2. To obtain temperature and salinity data profiles at each trawling position.
  3. To collect additional biological data in connection with the EU data collection framework (DCF).


All fishing gear and scientific equipment will be loaded aboard during the landing day of 1517S. Scotia will sail on 13 November and (after all safety drills and shakedown trawl shoot) commence fishing operations the following morning on the stations to the west of the Orkneys.  Weather conditions at the time will determine the exact start area.  Survey schedule and operations will be decided by SIC after daily consultation with Fishing Master and Captain.  A half landing with be made around 23 or 24 November into Greenock or possibly Belfast to exchange staff, but the date and port are to be confirmed once the vessel has commenced the survey.


This is a random-stratified survey design with trawl stations being distributed within twelve predefined strata covering the sampling area. One trawl haul of thirty minutes duration will be made within a radius of five nautical miles of each core positions shown on the attached chart.  If trawling is not possible at the core location then the nearest appropriate secondary/alternative station will be used.  Final trawl locations will be decided after SIC consultations with Fishing Master.  For each haul, the Scanmar monitoring system and NOAA bottom contact sensor will be used to observe and record the performance and geometry of the trawl and trawl doors.

Fish Sampling:

All fish will be treated according to current standard research vessel procedures and additional biological data will be collected as determined by EU data regulation 1639/2001 and 1581/2004.

Hydrography Sampling:

CTD casts will be taken at each trawl station. Please note the thermosalinograph will not be run during this survey.

Further Information:

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Vacancy – Fisheries Observer (closing date 21st November 2017)

Wed, 2017-11-08 10:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Fisheries Observer within the Stock and Fishery Science Group of 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.

The post holder will support scientific advice for fish stocks important to Scotland by collecting fisheries data and participating in laboratory based scientific activities such as Otolith reading for age determination.  Applicants must be capable of and willing to: work at sea on board commercial fishing and research vessels; travel to remote locations in Scotland; and on occasions work unsociable hours. The post involves significant travel therefore a drivers license would be beneficial.

Qualifications Required
For jobs in Bands A, you must hold a minimum of 5 Standard Grades (grades 1-3) or Ordinary Grades (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 the Resourcing Officer named at the end of this advert to discuss.

Essential Criteria
1. Good organisational skills, ability to plan and prioritise work and use your own initiative.
2. To be a confident communicator with good verbal and written communication skills.
3. An ability to apply basic numerical and computer skills (including familiarity with Microsoft Word and Excel or similar).
4. Experience of working on sea going commercial or research vessels.
5. Experience of collecting and accurately recording data. For example, this could be data collected through surveys, fieldwork or experiments, or could be social or financial data, stock taking, etc.

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Nabeil Salama  who can be reached at or 0131 244 3205.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the resourcing team on 0131 244 9875 or via

 Further information for this job

Apply for this job

You should read each of the Essential/Desirable Criteria and think about a time or an example that can help demonstrate your knowledge/skills. Remember, this must be evidence based and your answers should be clear, concise and reflect what actions you undertook. You may want to use the STAR(R) approach to respond to each criterion.

The post Vacancy – Fisheries Observer (closing date 21st November 2017) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Meet our scientists – Dr Faye Jackson

Tue, 2017-11-07 10:00

data loggers

Who are you and what do you do?

I am a new employee in the Environment Group at Marine Scotland Science Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory (MSS-FFL). I am currently undertaking large-scale (all of Scotland) spatial data analysis, using R as a GIS, to create national scale datasets of river habitat proxies e.g. elevation, river width, bankside woodland. These datasets are used as inputs for both our national juvenile density and river temperature models and allow predictions to be made for any river location in Scotland. I also contribute to the annual reporting for the ‘Scotland River Temperature Monitoring Network (SRTMN)’ and produce peer reviewed papers, reports and conference presentations. My most recent paper describes our national river temperature model which can simultaneously predict daily maximum river temperature and sensitivity to climate change for rivers across Scotland.Dr Faye Jackson

Why is what you do important?

MSS-FFL have been working for a many years on applied research questions that provide us with the knowledge base to create informed policy and management. Under environmental and climate change I believe this is even more important, allowing us to best manage and protect our rivers and fisheries. The national juvenile density model will allow the further development of assessment tools for salmon populations in Scotland.

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

I have always been interested in the environment and how we can protect it. In addition, I love learning and finding out new things, a career in science allows me to learn and discover every day. I have also been privileged to work with and learn from people from a range of different backgrounds and organisations throughout my career.

I completed a BSc Geography degree at the University of Birmingham specialising in hydrology, climate and environmental management. My undergraduate dissertation was focused on understanding how different water sources (e.g. glacial, groundwater, surface water) influenced river temperatures in the Taillon-Gabiétous catchment in the French Pyrenees. I further specialised in hydrology by completing an MSc at the University of Leeds entitled ‘Catchment dynamics and management.’ I remained interested in river temperatures and for my dissertation looked at the temperature dependence of in-stream respiration in the Ӧdenwinkelkees catchment in the Austrian Alps.

Next, I undertook a PhD with MSS-FFL and the University of Birmingham, funded by a NERC Open CASE studentship. My project focused on the development of novel monitoring and statistical modelling methods to understand and predict why river temperature varies at different locations and at different times. As part of this we designed and deployed the Scotland River Temperature Monitoring Network. I was particularly interested in this project because of the ‘real world’ application that meant that the research was going to be used in the management of Scotland’s rivers and fisheries. After my PhD I applied for the ‘Salmon Assessment Modeller’ post advertised at MSS-FFL and was thrilled that I was successful.

If you weren’t doing this, what do you think you would be doing instead?

I would (hopefully!) be a post-doctoral researcher at a university researching rivers under environmental and climate change (e.g. implications for thermal regime, water quality) and the consequences for fish populations. I would have endeavoured to maintain collaborative links with applied research organisations like MSS-FFL to ensure policy and management relevant scientific output.

What’s your favourite fishy fact?

I don’t have a fishy fact but I do have a temperature logger fact. A Gemini Tinytag datalogger (the loggers we use in SRTMN) can measure temperature every 15 minutes for 339 days and 17 hours before becoming full.

One fun fact about you

I love hillwalking, mountain biking and weightlifting.

Further Information

The post Meet our scientists – Dr Faye Jackson appeared first on Marine Scotland.

At Loggerheads with PAM

Mon, 2017-11-06 10:00

Duration: 6-13 November 2017

Gear: Sub-surface passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) moorings.


  1. To retrieve a previously deployed series of moorings comprising acoustic release systems (eight subsurface acoustic release moorings) and the acoustic recording devices attached to them (eight C-POD and three Loggerhead broadband units). Nine moorings were deployed originally however, one of these (Soay) has already been recovered.
  2. To deploy a series of moorings comprising acoustic release systems (six subsurface acoustic release moorings) and the acoustic recording devices attached to them. Each mooring will have a C-POD and a Loggerhead broadband unit attached This west coast background noise and marine mammal monitoring deployment is part of the COMPASS project. Tables 1 and 2 (below) give the locations for recovery of the moorings deployed in August 2017 during survey 1817H as well as the locations for the further deployments to be completed during survey 1917A.


Alba na Mara will sail on the morning of 6 November and make for the first mooring position. The ultimate order in which the moorings are deployed will be dictated by the weather forecast and the likely shelter that can be sought along the west coast.  Accurate position records will be kept detailing where the moorings are eventually placed as this may differ slightly from the planned position.

Table 1

Table 1: Location name and position for the moorings to be retrieved during 1917A. The positions listed below were deployed in August during the C-Odyssey charter (1817H).


Table 2

Table 2: Location name, position and depth for the moorings to be deployed during the Alba na Mara cruise 1917A.

Further Information

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Maximising the benefits of future large scale tidal and wave energy developments

Fri, 2017-11-03 10:00
Wave energy array layout

Wave energy array layout

Marine renewable energy is an important component of the Scottish Government’s vision for the future and will help the government reach its climate change objectives.

In response to this, a three-year project, EcoWatt2050, was created to investigate how we can ensure that the benefits of future large scale tidal and wave energy developments can be maximised, whilst minimising the environmental impacts and ensuring that these meet the legal criteria established by European law.

The project was established through Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). It was led by Heriot-Watt University, in partnership with the Universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Strathclyde, and the Highlands and Islands, Swansea University, the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and Marine Scotland Science (MSS).

By 2050, the natural conditions in Scottish seas will have changed due to climate change and EcoWatt2050 aimed to consider these changes and compare them with the changes predicted due to large scale marine renewable energy. The research had been specifically designed to respond to questions:

  1. How can marine planning be used to lay the foundation for the sustainable development of very large scale arrays (developments) of marine renewable energy devices?
  2. What criteria should be used to determine the ecological limits to marine renewable energy extraction, and what are the implications for very large scale array characteristics?
  3. How can we differentiate the effects of climate change from energy extraction on the marine ecosystem?
  4. Are there ways in which marine renewables development may improve or exacerbate the predicted effects of climate change on marine ecosystems?

EcoWatt2050 modelling scenarios

A number of areas around Scotland were identified, using a marine spatial planning process, as suitable for tidal and wave energy expansion. This process took into account the best available natural resource for renewable energy, as well as other users of the sea such as oil and gas, fishing and tourism. These identified areas that were used in the project modelling scenarios as the locations of large arrays.

Tidal energy extraction

Using a newly developed hydrodynamic model of Scottish Shelf Seas (the Scottish Shelf Model), changes to oceanographic conditions, caused by energy extraction at both national and local scales, were able to be predicted. Changes to tidal elevation, marine currents and ocean stratification patterns due to both climate change and the effect of large scale tidal arrays could also be simulated, although the tidal array scenarios that were modelled were hypothetical examples, and the arrays of tidal turbines that were used were larger than those being deployed today, but are likely to be common place in 2050.

Wave energy extraction

Hydrodynamic changes due to wave energy extraction was also modelled, in an area off of the west coast of Orkney, using two types of wave energy devices (constructed as large arrays). The modelling allowed factoring in changes to wave height, velocities at the surface and at the seabed, wave front power and also wave period and direction.

Both present and future climate conditions were also investigated in order to assess the relative impact of large scale wave energy extraction and climate change.

Overall Conclusions

The key finding of the project was that overall impacts due to climate change for both the physical and ecological environment are an order of magnitude higher than for renewable energy arrays. The project summary booklet which provides an overview of all the research carried out is available for download from the MASTS website and the Marine Scotland Information project page for EcoWatt2050 will contains metadata for the project outputs and links to the data.


The EcoWatt2050 Consortium gratefully acknowledges financial support for this work from the EPSRC Grand Challenge II award (EPSRC Grant Ref: EP/K012851/1), and contributions from MSS and MASTS.

Further Information

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Vacancy – Fishing Mate (closing date 28th November 2017)

Thu, 2017-11-02 10:00

We currently have 3 vacancies for the post of Fishing Mate working as part of Marine Scotland (Compliance), based  on our Marine Research Vessels with the possibility of working on any of Marine Scotland’s vessels.

The Marine Research Vessel’s main function is to ensure efficient and effective provision at sea to support the work of the scientific programme within Marine Scotland. Information gathered on research cruises is essential to the success of the scientific programme. To ensure this success both Marine Research Vessels are fitted with a wide range of deployment and recovery facilities for fishing gear and equipment, scientific and environmental sensors, and data gathering systems.

The Marine Patrol Vessels are involved in monitoring compliance with International, UK and National rules and regulations of licensed activities in the marine environment around Scotland out to 200 miles and beyond when required. This includes enforcing UK, EU and International fisheries laws and regulations. This is intended to assist the conservation of fish stocks and in creating the conditions necessary for the existence of a modern and sustainable sea fishing industry.

Qualifications Required

As a minimum, candidates for the Fishing Mate post either have a Deck Officer Certificate of Competency (Fishing Vessel) Class 1 or 2, or Second Hand (Full) Certificate. This certificate must have STCW95 capacity of either Master, Chief Mate or Navigational OOW entered therein. The certificate may be endorsed with the limitation “Standby, Seismic Survey and Oceanographic Research Vessels only. Other educational qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable

Before applying, please ensure that you have these (or equivalent) educational qualifications. Applicants without them will not be considered for appointment. If you are in any doubt about your qualifications, please ask for our advice before you apply. Alternatively the Maritime Coastguard Agency can offer advice on seafaring qualifications. Before offering you an appointment we will require to see your original certificates.

Essential Criteria

1. Up to date knowledge of the marine industry. 2. Good communication skills.

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 Tom Wilson at

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the Recruitment team at
This post attracts a £2000 Retention Pay Supplement. Pay supplements are temporary payments designed to address recruitment and retention issues caused by market pressures and are subject to regular review.

Further information for this job

Apply for this job

You should read each of the Essential/Desirable Criteria and think about a time or an example that can help demonstrate your knowledge/skills. Remember, this must be evidence based and your answers should be clear, concise and reflect what actions you undertook. You may want to use the STAR(R) approach to respond to each criterion.

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Getting a good grounding with the Northeast Atlantic

Wed, 2017-11-01 10:00

Survey coverage across the Northeast Atlantic by the surveys available in the data product (The Spanish Surveys are not available online at present)

Marine Scotland Science has just released new Groundfish Survey Monitoring and Assessment data for the Northeast Atlantic Area, which includes fish abundance and biomass at length information for all the species caught during the surveys (details in the table below).

With growing interest in understanding, assessing and managing the ecosystem in a more holistic way, having reliable data is key. Although this newly released data had already been collected by the various marine institutions within Europe and stored with the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) in their database portal (DATRAS), in some cases sample information was missing or incorrect.  Knowing that this information is a key part of understanding the broader fisheries picture in European waters, because groundfish surveys provide information about the abundance for species of commercial value, which in turn support the stock assessments used in fisheries management, MSS took on the role of taking the raw data, checking it and providing a quality assured product for use in Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) assessments.

Led by Marine Scotland scientist Dr Simon Greenstreet, all of the European groundfish survey data collected by member countries of ICES have been subjected to a formal quality assurance process to ensure that they are robust. The resulting products contain a total of 41,394 sampling stations and 4,574,975 biological records, spanning from the North Sea to the Gulf of Cadiz with temporal coverage of up to 35 years in some areas.

We would like to extend our thanks to the ICES Secretariat, ICES Data Centre and the wider ICES community, particularly the European Marine Institutions and the scientists who made this project possible.

Table outlining the products available online

Further Information

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Looking for flatfish with the Sir John Murray

Mon, 2017-10-30 10:00

Duration: 31 October – 8 November 2017

Sampling Gear:

  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) – 2 m beam trawl with 50 mm cod-end
  • SEPA – Demersal trawl with 50 mm cod-end
  • SEPA – Day grab and table
  • Marine Scotland Science (MSS) – Catamaran and neuston net


  1. To undertake flatfish and sediment sampling in the Clyde and Solway in support of the Clean Seas Environment Monitoring Programme (OSPAR and MSFD D8).
  2. To undertake fish sample preparation for subsequent eco-toxicological analyses.
  3. To undertake survey of sea-surface litter in the Firth of Clyde and Solway Firth (MSFD D10).
  4. To undertake fish, shellfish and sediment sampling in support of the microplastics ROAME (ST014).


Five surface (0-2 cm) sediment samples will be collected by Day grab for contaminant analysis from each of three water bodies in the Firth of Clyde and one in the Solway Firth (Table: 1). Flatfish (dab, plaice or flounder) will be collected for determination of disease status, contaminant concentrations and contaminant-induced biological effects from the Bowling, Holy Loch, Hunterston (contaminants only), Garroch Head, Outer Clyde, and Solway Firth fishing stations (Table: 2).  The catamaran neuston net will be towed at five knots in order to survey and sample sea-surface litter from the Solway Firth, the Clyde estuary and the inner, middle and outer Firth of Clyde (Table; 3).  Bycatch from the fishing trawls will be sampled adventitiously for determination of microplastics in stomach contents; sediment samples will be taken for determination of microplastics; benthic macrolitter collected during trawling will be identified and quantified.

General Arrangements:

Liquid nitrogen and other chemicals (e.g. formalin, methanol) will be carried aboard for the preservation and storage of biological materials.

Table 1: Intended sediment sampling locations.






Clyde Inner Firth of Clyde Off Cloch Point 55.948 -4.894 Clyde Inner Firth of Clyde East of Strone Point 55.984 -4.881 Clyde Inner Firth of Clyde Lunderston Bay 55.923 -4.911 Clyde Inner Firth of Clyde Weymss Point 55.897 -4.926 Clyde Inner Firth of Clyde E of Toward (UIFM 2) 55.868 -4.945 Clyde Inner Firth of Clyde Holy Loch – FRS 55.971 -4.892 Clyde Largs Channel Hunterston – FRS 55.764 -4.885 Clyde Largs Channel Hunterston2 55.777 -4.890 Clyde Largs Channel Hunterston3 55.786 -4.891 Clyde Largs Channel Hunterston4 55.792 -4.889 Clyde Largs Channel Hunterston5 55.741 -4.904 Clyde Middle Offshore East of Brodick 55.586 -4.955 Clyde Middle Offshore Middle Offshore South 55.434 -4.968 Clyde Middle Offshore Middle Offshore 55.506 -4.899 Clyde Middle Offshore 5 km SW of Lady Isle 55.508 -4.814 Clyde Middle Offshore 7 km off Whiting Bay 55.477 -4.988 Clyde Middle Offshore Garroch Head – FRS 55.660 -4.986 Irish Sea Solway Solway Firth @ NMMP site 25 54.750 -4.000 Irish Sea Solway Solway Firth BP1 54.767 -3.835 Irish Sea Solway Solway Firth BP2 54.757 -3.863 Irish Sea Solway Solway Firth BP3 54.750 -3.916 Irish Sea Solway Solway Firth BP4 54.727 -3.960

Table 2: Intended fishing locations and fish requirements.

Region Area Site Lat Long Species Effects Chemistry Clyde Outer estuary Bowling 55.925 -4.480 Flounder 50 25 Clyde Inner Firth Holy Loch 55.971 -4.892 Dab 50 25 Clyde Largs Channel Hunterston 55.787 -4.884 Plaice – 20 Clyde Middle Offshore Garroch Head 55.660 -4.986 Plaice 25* 25 Clyde Outer Offshore Pladda 55.420 -5.215 Plaice 25* 25 Irish Sea Solway Balcary Point 54.673 -4.134 Dab 50 –

* bile, EROD and micronucleus only

Table 3: Intended catamaran neuston trawl locations. Where possible, additional sediment grabs are to be taken from the middle of the neuston net trawl tracks (priority 1 sites).

Region Area Priority Manta net tows No Duration Clyde Estuary (Greenock – Erskine Bridge) 1 30 mins Clyde Inner Firth (Cloch Point – Greenock) 1 30-45 mins Clyde Gare Loch 2 45 mins Clyde Loch Long 2 60 mins Clyde Inner Firth (off Holy Loch) 1 60 mins Clyde Kyles of Bute / Loch Striven 1 60 mins Clyde Largs Channel (E of Grt Cumbrae) 1 60 mins Clyde West of Grt Cumbrae 1 60 mins Clyde Middle Offshore 2 60 mins Clyde Sound of Bute 2 60 mins Clyde Loch Fyne 3 60 mins Clyde Irvine Bay 2 60 mins Clyde Ayr Bay 2 60 mins Clyde Outer Offshore 2 60 mins N Channel North Channel 2 90 mins Solway Luce Bay 1 90 mins Solway Wigton Bay 1 60 mins Solway Balcary Point 1 60 mins

Further Information

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Glasgow welcomes the EU Atlantic Stakeholder Conference

Thu, 2017-10-26 10:00

Registration is now open for the conference and workshops for the annual Atlantic Stakeholder Conference, which  will take place in Glasgow on 8 November 2017 with a theme of ‘Regeneration across Generations’ and a focus on creating socially inclusive and sustainable models of regional development.

This priority of the EU’s Atlantic Strategy and Action Plan will bring together representatives from each of the five EU Member States bordering the Atlantic Ocean: the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal. The event is jointly hosted by the European Commission and the Scottish Government and provides a platform for sharing experiences and expertise, finding partners for future projects and funding opportunities for innovative ideas.

Social inclusion in peripheral and coastal communities is a key Scottish Government policy and Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, will welcome delegates as part of the opening plenary session. “Scotland is delighted to host our Atlantic friends and neighbours in a city that embodies the challenges and opportunities offered by regeneration and social inclusion.  Our Economic Strategy addresses the diversity of activities in a shared marine space but identifies the connections between them and the potential for sustainably managing fragile resources through a process of investment, innovation and tackling inequality, where it still exists.”

The event will enable social innovation to be considered as an effective mechanism for the sustainable, inclusive and smart development of the Atlantic Ocean area. Delegates will participate in plenary sessions and parallel workshops covering diverse topics including gender equality in the maritime economy and collaborative approaches to Blue Growth, such as through the Year of Scotland’s Coast & Waters in 2020.  In recognition of some of the most recent successful projects stimulating the blue economy in the Atlantic area, the 2017 Atlantic Project Awards will also be presented during the event.

Notes to Editors

The Atlantic Strategy Stakeholder Conference will take place at Strathclyde University’s Technology and Innovation Centre on 8 November 2017. Glasgow beat competition from Cardiff and Belfast to host this prestigious event, which is held under the UK Chairmanship of the Atlantic Strategy.

In addition to Fergus Ewing MSP, key speakers at the event are:

  • Councillor Eva Bolander, the Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow
  • Mr. Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (video message)
  • Councillor Jerry Lundy, Member of the EU’s Committee of the Regions
  • Mr. Bernhard Friess, Director of Maritime Policy and Blue Economy, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission.

The EU Atlantic Strategy is one of five similar initiatives run by the European Commission, addressing key issues and challenges to sustainable economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection in Europe’s major sea basins: the Atlantic Region, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. The Atlantic Region includes EU Overseas Territories such as Madeira, the Azores and Canary Islands and French Guiana.

The Atlantic Strategy has four themes:

  • Promote entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Protect, secure and enhance the marine and coastal environment
  • Improve accessibility and connectivity
  • Create a socially inclusive and sustainable model of regional development.

The Atlantic Strategy and Action Plan’s objectives are in line with the EU’s ‘Blue Growth’ initiative, which is the contribution made by maritime sectors to the overall goals of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Strategy and Action Plan have just gone through their mid-term review: distinguished speakers from the Atlantic coastal countries and EU officials will recall the milestones of maritime cooperation in the Atlantic and set the scene for the thematic sessions.

Scottish involvement in this event has been coordinated by the Scottish Coastal Forum, working in association with Marine Scotland. For further details, please contact Rhona Fairgrieve, SCF Manager, on 0131 244 2284 or

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Meet our scientists – Dr Ian Davies

Tue, 2017-10-24 10:00

Dr Ian DaviesWho are you and what do you do?

I am Ian Davies, and I am Programme Manager for the Renewables and Energy Programme. There are two Groups in the Programme; one whose main job is to act as advisers to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on chemical discharge from the offshore oil and gas industries, the other which provides advice to the licensing authorities (Marine Scotland (MS) Licensing Operations Team, and D Energy Local Energy Consents Unit) on environmental aspects of renewable energy (wind, wave and tidal), and undertakes supporting research.  We have active research interests in all parts of the Programme, an increasing number of PhD and MSc students, a variable portfolio of projects that we help commission from external providers, and we are partners in an increasing number of EU-funded projects. My job is to provide an environment in which all these competing calls can be met.

At a more corporate level, I chair the Marine Scotland Science (MSS) Health and Safety Committee, and take an active interest in training and staff development.

Why is what you do important?

What we do helps Scotland to make the most of its energy resources while maintaining high environmental quality. Renewables are part of the global answer to controlling climate change through decarbonisation of the economy.  We are part of this huge global endeavour, and we can see the direct consequences of what we do in the construction of wind and tidal energy farms (wave will come later!).  North Sea oil production is gradually decreasing, and our advice has contributed to keeping the North Sea free from gross pollution despite being the location of what continues to be the largest industrial sector in Scotland.

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

I came to the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen direct from a geochemistry PhD in Edinburgh in 1974 as a Scientific Officer. I joined the Chemistry Section which was in the process of expanding from its base in nutrient analysis into metallic contaminants, such as mercury and cadmium in fish and shellfish.  We had four research vessels in those days, and also large experimental programmes at Loch Ewe and elsewhere, so I spent quite a lot of time away from the lab.  In the mid-80s, I had a three year assignment as Assistant to the Coordinator of UK Fisheries Research and Development on temporary promotion to Principal Scientific Officer (PSO), which greatly broadened my views of the work done in UK fisheries laboratories. I came out of that responsible for environmental aspects of aquaculture, including testing of sea lice treatments.  Environmental effects of contaminants dominated the next years, with roles as member and chair of ICES Expert Groups and OSPAR Committees.  Everything was ticking over just fine until about 2008 when I was asked to translate a Strategic Environmental Assessment for marine renewables into a research and management programme. For a while, I was a Programme of one person, responsible for both renewables and marine planning!  Renewables was interesting, so I stayed and have built up a larger team over the last few years to address Scottish Government objectives for renewables.

If you weren’t doing this, what do you think you’d be doing instead?

I would be retired! However, I would miss working with MSc, PhD students and younger members of staff, assisting them to mature and achieve. I would be able to spend more time on the small charity that my wife Ruth and I run, primarily working in Romania.

What’s your favourite fishy fact?

Not very fishy, but definitely marine and very important for Scotland and renewables. Offshore wind energy is now significantly cheaper than nuclear energy.

And one fun fact about you?

I still try to play table tennis and badminton. I am waiting for someone to offer a quiet word of advice that really I am past it!

Further Information

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Where do fish live?

Mon, 2017-10-23 10:00

Last week,  our scientists were involved in a programme aimed at providing fine-scale data on the habitat associations of cod, haddock and whiting at a key period in their life history – following the transition from pelagic to demersal habitat.

The programme also provided them with an opportunity to add to the fish trap and fixed-position baited underwater video data obtained earlier in the year, which is used to further inform 0-group distribution models and samples for otolith-based growth and survivorship analysis.

During the programme, which was conducted on board the MRV Lady Nicola, scientists deployed fish traps over various habitat types within and around the Small Isles MPA and also synchronously deployed baited remote underwater video camera frames fitted with twin cameras calibrated for post-survey photogrammetric analysis.

Fish traps were deployed at the start of each working day, in fleets of 3, 2 and 2 traps, to be picked up again following a minimum soak time of 6 hours. The deployment location (GPS latitude and longitude), soak time, and bait type and quantity were recorded and captured fish released from the trap, with measurements of total length (to 1 cm) and weight (to 0.01 g).  Otoliths from gadoid species (cod, haddock, and whiting) were also extracted to establish age, with tissue from a subsample of the catch and stored in ethanol for genetic analysis. Time was set aside during each day to collect fresh bait.

Both underwater video camera frames were deployed at distances sufficient to avoid any interaction with the fleet ground gear (recommended minimum 500 m between deployments). Two cameras oriented ±6° perpendicular to the frame base were synchronously recording high definition video for a nominal period of 1.5 hours.  Footage was then downloadeded to external media at the end of each working day.  Species type, relative species densities (MaxN) and substrate type (assessed visually) were classified post-survey.

Table 1: Latitude, longitude & habitat variables of potential survey stations.

Station Substrate Longitude Latitude (dd) Longitude Latitude Depth (m) 1 Rock & Other Hard Substrata -6.47643 57.05647 006° 28.58596′ W 057° 33.87997′ N 48.4 12 Mixed -6.4066 57.05017 006° 24.39607′ W 057° 30.10482′ N 62.8 20 Sandy Mud – Muddy Sand -6.5747 56.92952 006° 34.48182′ W 056° 55.77110′ N 88.7 24 Sand -6.20849 57.01463 006° 12.50945′ W 057° 08.77659′ N 50.8 7 Coarse/Mixed Sediments -6.39688 56.95936 006° 23.81250′ W 056° 57.56159′ N 49.2 8 Mud -6.56517 57.0306 006° 33.91008′ W 057° 18.35910′ N 69.7 SI_01 Rock/Biogenic Reef -6.60639 57.0602 006° 36.38324′ W 057° 36.11881′ N 16.1 SI_02 Rock/Biogenic Reef -6.57409 57.06484 006° 34.44535′ W 057° 38.90486′ N 13 SI_03 Rock/Biogenic Reef -6.53778 57.07331 006° 32.26683′ W 057° 43.98393′ N 24.4 SI_04 Rock/Biogenic Reef -6.49853 57.07099 006° 29.91172′ W 057° 42.59426′ N 22.5 SI_05 -6.58524 57.04178 006° 35.11412′ W 057° 25.06538′ N 9.9 SI_06 -6.55298 57.04953 006° 33.17855′ W 057° 29.72089′ N 5.2 SI_07 -6.52064 57.05089 006° 31.23856′ W 057° 30.53686′ N 2.9 SI_08 -6.49293 57.04335 006° 29.57559′ W 057° 26.00770′ N 13.1 SI_09 Coarse/Mixed Sediments -6.37188 57.05886 006° 22.31260′ W 057° 35.31412′ N 31.1 SI_10 Rock/Biogenic Reef -6.40763 57.03812 006° 24.45761′ W 057° 22.86995′ N 20.9 SI_11 Rock/Biogenic Reef -6.43775 57.02183 006° 26.26522′ W 057° 13.09882′ N 16.7 SI_12 Rock/Biogenic Reef -6.46154 57.01092 006° 27.69257′ W 057° 06.55039′ N 32.4 SI_13 -6.43177 56.99241 006° 25.90618′ W 056° 59.54469′ N 6 SI_14 Rock/Biogenic Reef -6.41057 56.98095 006° 24.63396′ W 056° 58.85701′ N 15.9 SI_15 -6.35911 56.94771 006° 21.54636′ W 056° 56.86235′ N 19.5 SI_16 Sand -6.29011 57.04751 006° 17.40676′ W 057° 28.50321′ N 12.1 SI_17 Sand -6.2573 57.03721 006° 15.43800′ W 057° 22.32887′ N 24.8 SI_18 Sand -6.24367 57.02166 006° 14.62042′ W 057° 12.99781′ N 22.6 SI_19 Sand -6.23116 57.00311 006° 13.86964′ W 057° 18.64878′ N 43.2

Further Information:

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Jointly Surveying Marine Protected Areas

Fri, 2017-10-20 10:00

Figure 1: Location of Marine Protected Areas to be visited by 1517S survey.

Duration: 20 October – 9 November 2017

Fishing Gear

  • TV drop frame and wiring harness
  • TV sledge and wiring harness
  • Valeport mini-CTD
  • 0.25m2 USNEL BSL Box core
  • 0.1m mini Hamon grab
  • 0.1m Day Grab (backup)
  • 0.1m Van Veen Grab (backup)


Marine Scotland Science (MSS) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) will undertake an offshore seabed survey in the Northeast Faroe-Shetland Channel (NEF hereafter), Scottish Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (NCMPA) and the Wyville Thomson Ridge (WTR) on the Marine Research Vessel (MRV) Scotia (Figure 1).  Habitats within the NEF MPA vary down the slope with the descent into deeper (arctic) water.  In particular the FSC survey will focus on deep-sea sponge aggregations that are expected to be found between depths of 400 and 600 m.  The MPA represents the variation in sand, mud and gravel habitat types present, and the animal communities they support.


Figure 2: Sampling boxes A, B and C with chariot tow start and end points for North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel NCMPA.

  1. Conduct a Type 1 (Henry and Roberts, 2014) monitoring survey of the NEF NCMPA focusing sampling within boxes positioned to allow for sampling to occur across the range of depths, biological zones and proposed management measures at the site. This will include visual (camera) and physical (box corer or grab)sampling (Figures 2 and 3). Visual data will be collected from areas understood to contain deep-sea sponge aggregations within the site boundary (Box A) and from adjacent areas outside the site (Boxes B and C) along the same depth contours. Physical samples will be obtained for further for further characterisation of the wider seabed within the site (Box D). Environmental data will be collected during visual sampling.

    Figure 3. Physical sampling stations (60) generated for NEF NCMPA in Box D (purple). Note 30 of these stations are considered core with a further 30 contingency only.

  2. Conduct a Type 1 monitoring survey of the WTR (Figures 4 and 5) focusing on sampling within boxes A, B and C which are positioned to allow for sampling to occur across the range of depths, biological zones and proposed management measures at the site. The focus will be on visual (camera) methods only. Environmental data will be collected during visual sampling.


After completion of safety drills and exercises, there will be shakedown deployments of the chariot, box corer and Harmon grabs.  Thereafter, Scotia will proceed north towards the NEF area.

In boxes A-C four long (~3km) chariot tows (Figure 2) will be used to characterise the epifaunal communities present within the boxes and 16 short (200m) drop-frame camera transect stations (not illustrated) will facilitate collection of high definition video and still images. In box D 60 stations have been generated of which a core 30 will be prioritised for physical sampling.  Initially the vessel will sample with chariot and box core/Harmon grab in alternate 12 hour shifts until all chariot runs are completed.  Thereafter, sampling may concentrate on the dropframe runs until these are completed with the remainder of the time used for remaining box core/Harmon grab deployments.  Where time permits sampling of suitable sponge aggregations may be undertaken in boxes B or C using box core or Harmon grab.

Figure 4. WTR sampling box A and drop-frame stations.

Upon completion of work at NEF the vessel will proceed to WTR and visually sample in box A using the drop frame using a systematic grid approach (Figure 4). Sampling will also focus on the area within and adjacent to a proposed static gear closure to determine the distribution and extent of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs), including sponges and corals (Figure 5).

Figure 5. WTR sampling boxes B and C along with existing data and drop-frame stations.

Tables 1-3 show positional information for the visual aspects of the survey. Positions of physical sampling stations and all contingency stations will be available to MRV Scotia.

For the purposes of this survey the NEF will be prioritised over the WTR and visual sampling will be prioritised over physical sampling.

Contingency plans in NEF to undertake further physical sampling in box D where moderate conditions preclude camera work. In WTR contingency for moderate weather is sampling with Harmon grab at a predefined location to the west of the site.  In both cases contingency includes transit to already identified inshore survey locations in the event of prolonged unworkable conditions.

A full and detailed survey plan and scientific rationale will be presented at the pre-brief meeting, before the beginning of the survey.

Table 1: NEF Chariot tows and positions.

Stn Code Deployment Recovery Box A Deg NEF_Tow_A01 61 57.268 N 0 37.968 W 61 58.047 N 0 34.842 W NEF_Tow_A02 61 56.861 N 0 27.718 W 61 57.465 N 0 23.990 W NEF_Tow_A03 62 0.908 N 0 17.895 W 62 1.251 N 0 14.178 W NEF_Tow_A04 62 0.183 N 0 10.523 W 62 0.686 N 0 6.927 W Box B NEF_Tow_B01 61 43.293 N 1 13.743 W 61 44.086 N 1 10.655 W NEF_Tow_B02 61 43.705 N 1 3.603 W 61 44.801 N 1 0.763 W NEF_Tow_B03 61 47.890 N 0 59.275 W 61 49.142 N 0 56.121 W NEF_Tow_B04 61 50.701 N 0 48.649 W 61 51.817 N 0 46.022 W Box C NEF_Tow_C01 62 4.079 N 0 6.789 E 62 4.841 N 0 9.945 E NEF_Tow_C02 62 2.049 N 0 17.017 E 62 2.325 N 0 20.493 E NEF_Tow_C03 62 6.553 N 0 26.445 E 62 6.877 N 0 30.181 E NEF_Tow_C04 62 6.225 N 0 38.439 E 62 6.706 N 0 42.059 E


Table 2: NEF Dropframe stations and positions.

Stn Code Deg DecMin N Deg DecMin E/W Box A NEF_A01 61 57.710 N 0 36.368 W NEF_A02 62 1.068 N 0 16.077 W NEF_A03 62 0.519 N 0 8.663 W NEF_A04 61 57.172 N 0 25.510 W NEF_A05 61 56.608 N 0 40.328 W NEF_A06 61 59.047 N 0 31.353 W NEF_A07 61 59.852 N 0 27.042 W NEF_A08 62 0.499 N 0 22.013 W NEF_A09 61 54.385 N 0 38.684 W NEF_A10 61 56.026 N 0 33.050 W NEF_A11 61 58.003 N 0 19.744 W NEF_A12 62 1.060 N 0 3.211 W NEF_A13 61 58.959 N 0 16.145 W NEF_A14 61 59.802 N 0 12.673 W NEF_A15 62 1.962 N 0 10.896 W NEF_A16 62 2.562 N 0 5.434 W Box B NEF_B01 61 43.728 N 1 12.023 W NEF_B02 61 48.573 N 0 57.578 W NEF_B03 61 44.251 N 1 2.313 W NEF_B04 61 51.322 N 0 47.316 W NEF_B05 61 41.637 N 1 15.627 W NEF_B06 61 44.859 N 1 7.086 W NEF_B07 61 46.564 N 1 2.587 W NEF_B08 61 50.693 N 0 52.610 W NEF_B09 61 52.391 N 0 50.681 W NEF_B10 61 54.081 N 0 47.600 W NEF_B11 61 49.452 N 0 50.586 W NEF_B12 61 48.159 N 0 53.629 W NEF_B13 61 46.275 N 0 57.249 W NEF_B14 61 42.370 N 1 5.195 W NEF_B15 61 41.350 N 1 9.640 W NEF_B16 61 39.564 N 1 12.565 W Box C NEF_C01 62 4.459 N 0 8.347 E NEF_C02 62 6.794 N 0 28.457 E NEF_C03 62 2.157 N 0 18.821 E NEF_C04 62 6.421 N 0 40.138 E NEF_C05 62 3.373 N 0 2.688 E NEF_C06 62 5.709 N 0 14.410 E NEF_C07 62 6.291 N 0 21.398 E NEF_C08 62 7.232 N 0 35.057 E NEF_C09 62 8.661 N 0 43.077 E NEF_C10 62 10.457 N 0 47.875 E NEF_C11 62 2.230 N 0 6.594 E NEF_C12 62 3.161 N 0 13.272 E NEF_C13 62 3.936 N 0 19.982 E NEF_C14 62 4.489 N 0 26.802 E NEF_C15 62 5.032 N 0 33.664 E NEF_C16 62 7.788 N 0 46.596 E


Table 3 WTR Dropframe Station

Stn Code Deg DecMin Deg DecMin Box A WTR_A001 60 4.519 N 7 26.152 W WTR_A002 60 2.628 N 7 24.087 W WTR_A003 60 6.359 N 7 23.906 W WTR_A004 60 0.736 N 7 22.026 W WTR_A005 60 4.467 N 7 21.841 W WTR_A006 60 2.575 N 7 19.780 W WTR_A007 60 6.306 N 7 19.591 W WTR_A008 60 0.682 N 7 17.723 W WTR_A009 60 4.413 N 7 17.531 W WTR_A010 60 2.519 N 7 15.474 W WTR_A011 60 6.250 N 7 15.277 W WTR_A012 60 0.625 N 7 13.421 W WTR_A013 60 4.356 N 7 13.220 W WTR_A014 60 8.086 N 7 13.019 W WTR_A015 59 58.730 N 7 11.372 W WTR_A016 60 2.461 N 7 11.168 W WTR_A017 60 6.192 N 7 10.963 W WTR_A018 60 0.566 N 7 9.119 W WTR_A019 60 4.297 N 7 8.910 W WTR_A020 60 8.027 N 7 8.701 W WTR_A021 59 58.670 N 7 7.074 W WTR_A022 60 2.401 N 7 6.862 W WTR_A023 60 6.131 N 7 6.649 W WTR_A024 60 0.505 N 7 4.817 W WTR_A025 60 4.235 N 7 4.601 W WTR_A026 60 7.966 N 7 4.383 W WTR_A027 59 58.608 N 7 2.777 W WTR_A028 60 2.338 N 7 2.556 W WTR_A029 60 6.069 N 7 2.335 W WTR_A030 60 0.441 N 7 0.516 W WTR_A031 60 4.171 N 7 0.291 W WTR_A032 59 58.543 N 6 58.480 W WTR_A033 60 2.273 N 6 58.251 W WTR_A034 60 6.004 N 6 58.022 W WTR_A035 60 0.375 N 6 56.215 W WTR_A036 60 4.105 N 6 55.982 W WTR_A037 60 2.206 N 6 53.946 W WTR_A038 60 5.936 N 6 53.709 W WTR_A039 60 0.307 N 6 51.914 W WTR_A040 60 4.036 N 6 51.673 W WTR_A041 59 58.406 N 6 49.886 W WTR_A042 60 2.136 N 6 49.642 W WTR_A043 60 0.236 N 6 47.614 W WTR_A044 60 3.966 N 6 47.365 W WTR_A045 59 58.335 N 6 45.590 W WTR_A046 60 2.064 N 6 45.338 W WTR_A047 59 56.433 N 6 43.570 W WTR_A048 60 0.163 N 6 43.314 W WTR_A049 60 3.892 N 6 43.057 W WTR_A050 59 58.261 N 6 41.295 W WTR_A051 60 1.990 N 6 41.034 W WTR_A052 59 56.358 N 6 39.279 W WTR_A053 60 0.087 N 6 39.015 W WTR_A054 59 54.455 N 6 37.267 W WTR_A055 59 58.184 N 6 36.999 W WTR_A056 60 1.914 N 6 36.731 W WTR_A057 59 56.280 N 6 34.988 W WTR_A058 60 0.010 N 6 34.715 W WTR_A059 59 54.376 N 6 32.980 W WTR_A060 59 58.105 N 6 32.704 W WTR_A061 60 1.835 N 6 32.428 W WTR_A062 59 56.201 N 6 30.697 W WTR_A063 59 59.930 N 6 30.417 W WTR_A064 59 54.295 N 6 28.693 W WTR_A065 59 58.024 N 6 28.410 W WTR_A066 60 1.753 N 6 28.125 W WTR_A067 59 52.390 N 6 26.693 W WTR_A068 59 56.119 N 6 26.406 W WTR_A069 59 59.847 N 6 26.118 W WTR_A070 59 54.212 N 6 24.407 W WTR_A071 59 57.941 N 6 24.116 W WTR_A072 59 52.305 N 6 22.411 W WTR_A073 59 56.034 N 6 22.117 W WTR_A074 59 59.763 N 6 21.820 W WTR_A075 59 50.398 N 6 20.420 W WTR_A076 59 54.127 N 6 20.121 W WTR_A077 59 57.855 N 6 19.822 W WTR_A078 59 48.490 N 6 18.432 W WTR_A079 59 52.219 N 6 18.130 W WTR_A080 59 55.947 N 6 17.827 W WTR_A081 59 59.676 N 6 17.523 W WTR_A082 59 50.310 N 6 16.142 W WTR_A083 59 54.039 N 6 15.836 W WTR_A084 59 57.767 N 6 15.529 W WTR_A085 59 52.130 N 6 13.849 W WTR_A086 59 55.858 N 6 13.538 W WTR_A087 59 50.220 N 6 11.865 W WTR_A088 59 53.949 N 6 11.551 W WTR_A089 59 52.039 N 6 9.568 W WTR_A090 59 50.128 N 6 7.589 W WTR_A091 59 51.945 N 6 5.288 W Box B WTR_B001 59 52.515 N 5 56.750 W WTR_B002 59 52.323 N 5 57.857 W WTR_B003 59 51.811 N 5 57.503 W Box C WTR_C001 59 51.935 N 5 54.408 W WTR_C002 59 51.864 N 5 58.711 W WTR_C003 59 52.608 N 5 55.580 W WTR_C004 59 52.029 N 5 55.759 W WTR_C005 59 52.989 N 5 58.700 W


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