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Updated: 17 min 17 sec ago

There be prawns!

Thu, 2017-06-22 10:00

Earlier, we posted information about the 7th research survey that our research vessel, the Alba na Mara was doing.On board the Scotia

Here we have the final blog from the Scientist in Charge on that survey, Adrian Weetman:

Following the long journey from Fladen to the west coast on Monday 12th June, the annual Nephrops Under Water TV Survey began working in the North Minch later the same evening – working down the west side of the North Minch and then into the South Minch, the survey was off Barra.

The half landing had originally been pencilled in for Friday 16th but we were told there would not be any available berths until Sunday 18th.This delay meant modifying the survey to ensure the vessel was fully engaged in survey work up until that point, so having re-routed the vessel and finishing the majority of stations in the South Minch by the evening of the 15th, the vessel made way for the Sound of Jura.

NephropsAs in the South Minch, a number of stations were relocated due to the presence of creels (which could become entangled with the sledge) and/or rocky, unsuitable seabed. A single trawl was carried out in the Sound of Jura after which the vessel made way for the Clyde, arriving in Kilbranan Sound very early on Saturday the 17th. After waiting on station for daylight to arrive, the area was checked for creels and with no obstacles in sight the survey continued in a clockwise direction around Aran, with a trawl in the evening of the 17th. On the 18th, the survey continued working in the south of the Clyde until the early afternoon when the 24 hour half landing took place.

At 1630 on the 19th, the vessel headed back to complete the remaining few stations in the Clyde, finishing the survey in this area in the small hours of the 20th, before heading west to survey the last few stations in the South Minch. The plan is that once this area has been completed, the numerous stations on east side of the North Minch will be surveyed before heading back east to Fladen and then onto Devils Hole before heading for Aberdeen..

Further Information

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Introducing… the new look Scotland’s environment website

Thu, 2017-06-22 09:00

TSEWeb logohe SEWeb team have launched the new look Scotland’s environment website.

The new website has been designed and developed following discussion and feedback with you, our users, to find out what you want and need from this online resource. It’s still a work in progress but in this first phase release you’ll find new designs, functionality and content. By introducing new developments on a beta, or test, version of the website we can make sure we are on the right track.

Not all of the current website content and data has been added to the beta website but development will continue over the summer months, in time for a full release in early autumn this year. The current website continues to run during the beta test phase.

Their aim is to create a one-stop-shop search and discovery hub to get you to the environmental data you need, when you need it. You can be confident that the data you find and view on Scotland’s environment web is trusted, authoritative, and the most up-to-date data that is available. The also want to provide you with a quick and easy way of finding, viewing and interacting with data from multiple sources.

SEPA are always interested to hear what you think so please take a look at the new look Scotland’s environment website and get in touch with your feedback and ideas.

Further Information

The post Introducing… the new look Scotland’s environment website appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Message in a bottle

Tue, 2017-06-20 07:00

 

Many of us will have spent hours as a child drawing pictures or drafting letters to stuff in a bottle, to be sent on its way from the local beach; hopefully, to be found in a far-away place (or maybe even time) by a mysterious stranger. The “message in a bottle” conjures up romantic notions of a pen pal on distant shores for many children, but for ocean scientists it used to be considered a vital measurement tool.

Rognvald Livinstone ballasting glass drift bottles before their release at seaSome of our earliest discoveries of the ocean circulation around Scotland were made thanks to this simple piece of technology. From the early 20th century, scientists put hundreds of glass bottles out at sea, to be dispersed by the local ocean currents, and hopefully to be found by a fisher or beach comber and returned to the scientists.  Inside, a card tempted the lucky finder to offer up information on where and when it was found, in return for a small reward – one shilling.  At first, they were used to measure surface circulation, but soon bottles were weighted by sand or shot to help track the near-bed currents.

Of course, despite the many bottles released – at one point 3,000 were prepared by Rognvald Livingstone (pictured right) in one year – the vast majority were never found. Of the few that were, most were returned within weeks to months, but the odd one is still found today.  On 23rd March 2017, Mr Leigh Casey found one of these drift bottles, number 248A (pictured below), in the catch of the Opportune (LK 209), a 25 m trawler skippered by Mr Ross Christie and based out of Scalloway (Shetland).  They recorded the position of their find as 61° 09.3’ N 001° 14.7’ W, where the sea is around 200 metres deep.  After talking to the crew, Mr Davie Riley – a fisheries technician at the NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway – contacted the Oceanography Group at Marine Scotland Science in Aberdeen to find out more about the bottle.

Surface drift-currents in the North Sea, as published by JB Tait in 1973

Surface drift-currents in the North Sea, as published by JB Tait in 1973

Despite the original notebooks still being kept in the library at the Marine Laboratory, each find still requires some sleuthing to find out where and when the bottle was originally released. At first glance, there didn’t appear to be any record of bottle 248A in the notebooks.  Luckily, the print-run numbers on the post cards could shed some light: the cards were originally printed in 1906, but were used in bottles released up until the next print-run in 1914.  Bottle 248A was released on 16 May 1911 at a position just 5 miles from where it was found.  These drift bottles, designed to track near-bed currents, often became trapped on the sea bed, and the more recent discoveries a century after release have often been very close to the initial release position.

For this bottle, the journey home lasted 105 years and 311 days; unfortunately still not quite the Guinness World Record for the “oldest message in a bottle”. Marine Scotland previously held this honour, but the Marine Biological Association (UK) won the record in 2015 with a bottle that spent 108 years and 138 days at sea.   Scientists at Marine Scotland remain hopeful of regaining the record, and with thousands of bottles still out at sea, it almost seems inevitable.

Bottle 248A as it was found in 2017

Bottle 248A as it was found in 2017 and its card showing instructions for the finder. The print-run number in the bottom left was key in identifying the correct release date and position. Photos courtesy of D. Riley.

 

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Latest update from the MRV Scotia survey 0717S – the 7th of the year

Thu, 2017-06-15 10:32

0717S Survey AreaDuration: 6- 26 June 2017

Gear onboard:  

2 x Scotia BT175 80mm prawn trawls

2 x Day grabs and 1 x sieving table

2 x towed UWTV sledges

2 x 600m umbilical towing cables and associated TV equipment (including back up)

Objectives

  • To obtain estimates of the abundance and distribution of Nephrops burrow complexes at Fladen, in the North Minch, the South Minch, the Firth of Clyde, in the Sound of Jura and at Devil’s Hole.
  • To use the TV footage to record the occurrence of other benthic fauna as well as evidence of commercial trawl activity.
  • To collect sediment samples at each station.
  • To  obtain samples of Nephrops for size composition analysis.
  • To collect samples of Nephrops from the trawls for comparison of reproductive condition and morphometrics in each of the different survey areas (Functional Units).
  • To record and retain marine litter obtained from trawling as part of the MSFD.

Procedures

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

Weather permitting, it is planned that the vessel will first carry out a training session in deploying the sledge en route to the Fladen grounds. Initially approximately 450m of the TV cable will be paid out with a large buoy attached to the end of the cable to be lowered into the water.  This will add back tension to the cable on recovery, creating tighter turns on the winch and reducing the potential for damaging the cable.  The sledge will then be attached to the umbilical to carry out a training session where the sledge will be shot, approximately 100 m of cable paid out and then recovered.  When this procedure is completed to the satisfaction of all involved, the vessel will then progress to the first of the Nephrops burrow TV stations at the SW edge of the Fladen ground.  Once the work at Fladen has been completed, the vessel will then steam to the west coast and to begin surveying stations in the North and South Minches.

It is anticipated that the vessel will work south along the western side of the Minches towards the Clyde, surveying TV sites and carrying out trawls as required.

The survey will continue on into the Sound of Jura, followed by the remaining South and North Minch stations whilst working north.

At each TV station a video camera mounted on to the sledge will be towed along the seabed for approximately ten minutes at approximately 1 knot and in to the tide – the ship’s dynamic positioning will be required for this. Nephrops burrows observed, individual Nephrops and other benthic fauna will be recorded onto DVD for analysis.  The depth and distance travelled by the sledge, as well as camera height from the seabed, will be recorded automatically.  Where practical sediment samples will be taken using the mini van Veen grab mounted on the sledge.

Update from Adrian Weetman, the Scientist in Charge

Scotia left Aberdeen in the morning of 6th June 2017 and headed out to Fladen to begin the annual Underwater TV Survey. Over the following few days, 70 stations were surveyed and one trawl was carried out in generally, favourable conditions. Some technical difficulties were experienced during this time which were either resolved or alternative arrangements made. These problems, as well as a storm through the night of the 7th which restricted TV operations, initially resulted in delaying the survey, but good progress was made over all and in the early hours of Monday the 12th the vessel began the journey west. En route, Scotia made a port call at Scrabster, where the workboat was put ashore to collect replacement parts for one of the faulty systems onboard. With the engineers working hard to repair the faults, the vessel continued west arriving at the first station in the North Minch in the early evening of the 12th. The survey continued working south down the west side of the North Minch with few issues and was off Harris by 10:00 the following morning, and completed the North Minch leg mid afternoon later that same day. After a three hour steam south work began in the South Minch in the evening of Tuesday 13th and continued working south towards Barra during the 14th, in worsening weather conditions.

Further Information

The post Latest update from the MRV Scotia survey 0717S – the 7th of the year appeared first on Marine Scotland.

New report published about bird and mammal displacement with wave and tidal energy devices

Tue, 2017-06-13 09:19

Flying gullAs the offshore marine renewables industry grows, understanding the way that marine species may respond to the installation and operation of wave and tidal energy devices is of particular importance. Recently, extensive research and effort has gone into furthering our understanding of potential implications of deploying these devices into Scottish waters. However, several questions still remain as to whether deployment of these devices is likely to have an impact on the distribution and abundance of marine wildlife in the vicinity of the devices.

Since 2005, a wide range of wave and tidal energy devices have been tested by developers at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. Running alongside device testing, has been the Wildlife Observation Programme which has collected detailed records on marine mammal and birds present at sea, in and around the test berths. The land-based observer data collected at EMEC has been extensive with over 11 years of data from the tidal energy site, Falls of Warness, and six years at the wave energy test site, Billia Croo.

To understand how these renewable energy technologies influence marine wildlife, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Marine Scotland and EMEC commissioned a detailed investigation into how species distribution and numbers had varied across the test site, relative to different levels of site activity.

The study found little evidence of long-term effects on use of the surrounding seas by birds and marine mammals as a result of the installation and operation of wave and tidal devices at the test sites. The following provides a summary of the main findings:

  • No significant changes in wildlife distribution were detected around the test berths at the wave energy test site at Billia Croo.
  • Observations at the tidal test site, Falls of Warness, showed slightly reduced numbers in some species (e.g., great northern diver, cormorants, shags, various auk species, ducks and geese) in the vicinity of the test berths after construction work started. However, in all cases this returned to previous levels during subsequent deployment and operation of the turbines. It is therefore possible that increased vessel activity associated with installation is likely to be causing this change in distribution.
  • For most other species, no such pattern of change around the Falls of Warness test berths could be discerned.
  • The observations used in this study were made from land overlooking the test sites, so possible wildlife interactions with turbines below the sea surface, were not determined.

Further Information

The post New report published about bird and mammal displacement with wave and tidal energy devices appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Freshwater Fisheries Open Day a success

Mon, 2017-06-05 14:39

Reading scalesOn 13th May, colleagues from the Freshwater Fisheries laboratory at Faskally in Pitlochry held an Open Day at the Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry.

The day included and series of six talks that were held in the morning and afternoon, with more than 30 posters and films on show throughout the day. There were also practical exhibits including plankton from our outstation in Shieldaig, using ultrasound to determine the gender of trout, invertebrate identification, river mapping and fish scale reading.

The art of capturing trout by electrofishing was demonstrated in the Japanese Garden and radio tracking techniques were shown using dummy fish hidden among the trees. Genetics was simplified to a double helix of jelly babies and cocktail sticks and Bernie Martin’s stunning new film of the salmon life cycle (7 years in the making) was shown every hour followed by lively question sessions with topics ranging from the technicalities of filming hatching fish to the evolutionary history of migration in salmon, and much in between.

Visitors included school children (entertained by custom-designed quizzes) anglers, amateur naturalists, fisheries managers, teachers, professional scientists and those others with a curiosity in what happens in the Lab by the loch. John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, and many other attendees enthused about their visits, and some who had come for an hour stayed for much of the day.

Photos from the day have been turned in to a short storyboard and  more pictures are available on the Marine Scotland Flickr site.

Further Information

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SEWeb – volunteers needed to test new Scotland’s environment website

Wed, 2017-05-24 10:52

SE Web logo

The team from SEWeb are looking for volunteers to help us carry out usability testing of the Scotland’s environment website.

The Scotland’s environment website brings together environmental information and data in one place so that it is easy to search, discover, view, analyse and interpret.

In June, a new look test version of the website will be launched. This is as a result of earlier user feedback that has helped us identify areas where improvements could be made. The site will be very much a work in progress, with more development planned, but we would like to gather feedback on the changes made so far.

To help us do this we are looking for volunteers to take part in online usability testing. This would involve completing a series of short tasks and letting us know how you got on. The tasks will involve testing out the new map tool, finding information and data on key environmental topics, navigation around the website and the general look, feel and design. You can choose to take part in one or more of the test tasks, with each taking 10-15 minutes.

Your help with usability testing will provide us with valuable feedback that will help us make further improvements to the website.

If you would like to volunteer to take part in online user testing, please get in touch with the Scotland’s environment Team by using one of the links below to indicate which test tasks you would like to participate in:

Full instructions will be provided and all tests are carried out anonymously so responses will not be attributed to individuals. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Remembering Helen Stormonth Ogilivie (1880-1960)

Wed, 2017-05-17 13:53

On this day in 1880, Helen Stormonth Ogilivie was born who, as far as we know, was the first woman to be employed by what is now Marine Scotland Science.

Born in Dundee, Ms Ogilvie studied at Dundee University College at the time it became affiliated to St Andrews University and graduated with an MA and also a BSc, with distinction in Botany and Zoology.Helen Ogilvie's collection

Ms Ogilvie started working for the Fishery Board for Scotland around 1911, and at this time also began working with Professor Haaken Hasberg Gran, a prominent Norwegian botanist, analysing phytoplankton samples. The work led to her first publication with Prof Gran describing the phytoplankton and planktonic food of fishes.

She came to work at the Aberdeen Laboratory in 1926 and dedicated most of her career to the study of phytoplankton. She also published a number of scientific papers in her own right, including a description of the copepod (a small marine animal) which is the reference work for these creatures, still used today.

Following her retirement in 1946 Ms Ogilvie continued her interest and remained voluntarily at the laboratory until her health began to fade.  Upon leaving she bequeathed a wonderful array of books, from her own personal collection, to the Aberdeen Laboratory; which we still have on display in our Marine Laboratory Library.

 

The post Remembering Helen Stormonth Ogilivie (1880-1960) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Placements now available with Marine Scotland (closing date 29 June)

Tue, 2017-05-16 13:51

Marine Scotland is planning to host two NERC Innovation Placements. The placements, which are currently open to applications, will look at policy areas related to marine renewables, and scientific areas related to underwater noise.

Marine Acoustics Placement

During this placement, the candidate will have the opportunity to work with underwater noise data from across the east coast of Scotland. We’re looking for someone who can help us to review data collection processes and develop analytical and reporting processes.

Marine Planning and Policy Placement

During this placement, the candidate will work to support the development of a marine plan for floating offshore wind. They will also contribute to work on the Scottish Offshore Renewable Research Framework (SpORRAn), which is a tool used by Marine Scotland to identify knowledge gaps around marine renewables policy.

Further Information:

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Vacancy – Second Engineering Officer (Closing date 8 June)

Fri, 2017-05-12 10:00

We are currently seeking applications for Second Engineers holding a Class One (Motor) Certificate of Competency to serve aboard Marine Scotland’s vessels. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

Marine Scotland operate three Patrol vessels and two Research vessels owned by the Scottish Government. The vessels carry out Fishery Protection and Fisheries Research duties in the waters  around Scotland.

Essential Criteria
1. Class 1 (Motor) Unlimited Certificate
2. Certificated in all respects to meet the requirements of STCW95.
3. Up to date knowledge of marine industry.
4. Excellent communication skills.
5. Be able to demonstrate a competent level of computer skills

Desirable Criteria
1. Knowledge of diesel electric propulsion systems

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 Caroline Hutton on 0131 244 4194 or via caroline.hutton@gov.scot.

*Pay Supplement
This post attracts a £2000 per annum pro rata 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.

The post Vacancy – Second Engineering Officer (Closing date 8 June) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy – Economic Policy Adviser (closing date 6 June)

Wed, 2017-05-10 09:35

We are currently seeking applications for an Economic Policy Adviser within Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

The post will be located in Marine Scotland’s Marine Analytical Unit (MAU), to allow the post holder to draw on broader multi-disciplinary (statisticians, economists, data analyst and social researchers) analytical resource based in Edinburgh. This is a 12 month fixed term and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

As an Economic Policy Adviser you will analyse, evaluate and assess various aspects of the Scottish food economy and help shape the development of FSS policies and programmes. You will provide economic advice on issues that arise day-to-day and will be involved in working with the FSS Board and other officials across a range of governmental business. You will be required to maintain an understanding of the economic policy landscape relating to FSS and links with other government departments, UK and international research funders and provide links to research programmes which are relevant to FSS strategic objectives.

Qualifications Required
At least a 2:1 Economics Degree or a Masters Degree in Economics.

Essential Criteria
1. You will have substantial experience as a professional economist and have a strong understanding of economic concepts and analytical techniques.
2. You will have experience of working with other professions to develop a shared evidence base to inform and influence decision-making.
3. You will have some experience of advising decision–making at all levels.
4. Experience of gathering, analysing and presenting economic data, using tools such as excel.
5. Excellent interpersonal and communication (written and oral) skills and an ability to adapt your style to meet the needs of your audience.

Desirable Criteria
1. Experience of working with a range of internal and external stakeholders.
2. Some experience of leading a distinct analytical project or programme of work

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 Susan Pryde 01224 285152 or susan.pryde@fss.scot.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact Craig Wilson on 0131 244 4073 or via  craig.wilson@gov.scot.

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 – Economic Policy Adviser (closing date 6 June) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

New consultation launched on fin fish and shellfish developments

Mon, 2017-05-08 10:00

 

 

Last Friday, Marine Scotland launched a consultation to propose amendments to permitted development rights for fin fish and shellfish developments. Comments are being sought on whether to relax the current requirement for prior notification under existing rights and to consult on improvements to rights relevant to shellfish farmers.

The proposed changes are the result of the review of current rights, undertaken with input from the Ministerial Group for Sustainable Aquaculture  Capacity Working Group which was established in 2013 to improve the planning and consenting process for fin fish and shellfish developments. Prior to the consultation,  a strategic environmental assessment screening report was developed and consulted on, and from the comments received, there was a general consensus that the proposed changes will not cause any significant environmental impacts. This is final stage in this process and Wwe would like to seek views on whether the proposed legislative changes should be introduced.

The consultation is now open and will close on Friday 28 July.

Further Information

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Vacancy – Marine Mammal Scientist

Tue, 2017-05-02 14:07

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

This post will provide scientific advice to Marine Scotland licensing and policy branches on matters related to marine mammals.  This will include advice on marine renewable energy developments and on management of marine mammal populations.  This advice will be underpinned by scientific research undertaken by the post-holder on the use of passive acoustic monitoring to assess the use of Scottish waters by cetacean species.

Qualifications Required

An honours degree or above in a relevant biological, ecological or bio-statistical discipline is a requirement for this post.

Essential Criteria

  1. A good understanding of regulation, legislation and research relating to marine mammals and to underwater noise in Scottish waters.
  2. Demonstrable data analysis and statistical skills, using specialist statistical software, such as R, Genstat or Matlab.
  3.  Experience of successfully managing sea going fieldwork.
  4. The ability to work independently with good organisational skills.
  5. Excellent written and oral communication skills, with the ability to explain scientific concepts to varied audiences.

Desirable Criteria

  1. Postgraduate qualification in a relevant field.
  2. Experience of collecting, processing, analysing, and reporting on data on underwater acoustics, and marine mammal abundance, distribution and behaviour.

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. The Marine Science Competency Framework can be found here. 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 Kate Brookes, who can be reached at kate.brookes@gov.scot or 01224 295613. If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact Steven Andison on 0131 244 8323 or via steven.andison@gov.scot

Further information for this job

Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants

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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To The Journey’s End – a new film about the lifecycle of Atlantic Salmon

Mon, 2017-05-01 10:00

To the jouney's end posterWe’re delighted to announce that at our Freshwater Fisheries open day in Pitlochry on 13th May that we will be showing a new feature from filmmaker Bernard Martin.

Concluding a 7-year, self-funded project, supported by the Boards and Trusts of the rivers of the North East of Scotland, Aberdeenshire-based filmmaker Bernard Martin created this film as an educational resource, hoping to inspire local students to think about the conservation of the species.

To The Journey’s End documents the desperate voyage of the Atlantic salmon from ocean to river and back again, driven by the desire to reproduce. Locally-filmed, purpose-shot footage follows them as they travel through the seasons until they finally make it to the spawning grounds where they themselves hatched many years earlier – they finally reach the end of their exhausting 3,000-mile journey. Having not fed since they entered the river from the sea almost a year previous, for most, this is the end of their lives. After spawning, viewers witness the hatching of eggs the following spring and watch the development of baby salmon until they return to the sea as smolts years later.

The film features rarely-seen footage from North East Scotland, allowing viewers to follow the fascinating life-cycle of the Atlantic salmon, fraught with danger. What’s more, the viewer will come to appreciate how endangered Atlantic salmon really are, and the challenges they face throughout their struggle for survival in the modern world.

By painting a poignant picture of the arduous journey of the Atlantic salmon, this film, perhaps most importantly, will inspire determination to help save this magnificent species; a native and natural symbol of Scotland.

On the upcoming launch of his film, Bernard said: “Year after year we were disappointed not to film the spawning sequence, heavy rains, lack of fish, being in the wrong place at the right time and equipment failing at the critical moment, all meant another year’s filming. Without the spawning sequence there was no film at all. What was really uplifting was that the people who work and look after our rivers never gave up on me. The quality of the rivers of the North East is down to their hard work and management”

Further Information

The post To The Journey’s End – a new film about the lifecycle of Atlantic Salmon appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy – Second Officer

Fri, 2017-04-28 10:44

We are currently seeking applications for Second Officers within Marine Scotland (Compliance) on board the Government’s Marine Patrol Vessels. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

The Marine Patrol Vessels are 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

Candidates must hold a minimum of an unlimited Officer of the Watch certificate of competency, be fully certificated to meet STCW 95 requirements. 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. Candidates must have experience of being a watch keeping officer.
  2. Successful applicants must be self-motivated and have excellent communication skills, with an up-to-date knowledge of the marine industry.

Desirable Criteria

  1. Chief Mates Certificate of Competency.
  2. Knowledge of Marine Scotland’s work.

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 Caroline Hutton who can be reached at 0131 244 4194 or caroline.hutton@gov.scot. If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact Dorota Rokosz on 01312446630 or via Dorota.rokosz@scot.gov.

Further information for this job

Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants

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 – Second Officer appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Get involved with the best of Scotland’s nature

Thu, 2017-04-27 09:30

Freshwater LaboratoryThe latest edition of Scottish Natural Heritage’s newsletter has just been published, with articles about how to get involved with the best of Scotland’s nature, an update on the new Scotland’s Soil’s website and their quarterly science update.

And if you were thinking of coming along to our Freshwater Fisheries open day on 13th May, why not make a weekend of it and get involved with the Cairngorms Nature BIG Weekend? Happening between the 12-14 May, it is a celebration of the fantastic wildlife of the Cairngorms National Park.

More Information

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Your chance to find out more about our Freshwater scientists

Mon, 2017-04-24 11:28

Open Day schedule

On 13th May, our Freshwater scientists are holding an open day at the Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry.

This free and family friendly event will showcase past and present work that has been instrumental in developing our understanding of Scotland’s freshwater fish populations and fisheries. You’re welcome to drop in at any time  between 10am and 5pm and check out all the different exhibits we’ll have on show and scientists will be on hand to talk to you about what they do.

Learn – See – Explore

  • Study fish DNA, find out how we tell the ages of fish, discover what a baby dragonfly looks like
  • Find out how and why we follow fish using electronic tags
  • Watch our fascinating demonstration on catching fish using electricity
  • Check out our topical talks and informative videos
  • Chat with our scientists and learn about being a fisheries biologist, geneticist or chemist

Initially set up in 1948, the Marine Scotland Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory employs around 40 staff at its main site in Pitlochry on the shore of Loch Faskally and outstations in Montrose and Shieldaig. Our dedicated team conducts science that supports national fisheries management and conservation. Staff work on a range of fish species in both freshwater and coastal environments, but primarily Atlantic salmon and Brown (sea) trout.

**Book your free tickets now!**

 Further Information

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SCObs Weekly Sampling to Expand at St Abbs

Fri, 2017-04-07 13:20

The Scottish Coastal Observatory (SCObs) monitors the temperature, salinity, nutrients and plankton community at a number of sites around the Scottish coast. The efforts of Marine Scotland scientists are supported by a network of local citizen-scientists who deploy small temperature sensors and collect water samples for analysis.  Many of the SCObs sites have been collecting data since 1997, and a first report featuring observations up to 2013 was recently published.  Monthly means of the data presented in the report are available for download.

More recently, SCObs has also established a site at St Abbs, on the Scottish east coast, almost 50 miles south of Edinburgh.  In collaboration with staff at the St Abbs Marine Station, temperature sensors have been deployed since July 2013.  From April 2017, the monitoring is expanding to include the collection of water samples for salinity, nutrient and phytoplankton analysis.  Dave Lee and Bee Berx from the Oceanography Group travelled down to St Abbs on 31 March, to deliver the kit needed for the St Abbs Marine Station staff to collect and store samples.  After a short training session, they were also treated to possibly the tastiest Cullen Skink around, before heading home.

So, how do our citizen-scientist volunteers help SCObs?

Volunteers who collect samples are sent empty vials, bottles and phytoplankton sampling equipment, which they use to collect water samples on a weekly basis. Nutrient samples are frozen, while the preserved phytoplankton samples and salinity bottles are stored at room temperature.  Samples are returned to the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen on a regular basis, and the samples are analysed.  Meantime, the volunteers receive replacement sampling kit from Marine Scotland.  The volunteers also deploy and recover the temperature sensors: these are attached to piers or buoys, where they are permanently submerged.  Every three months, the volunteers also post these back.  The data is downloaded from the instrument, and a new sensor is posted out to the volunteers.

St Abbs sampling siteThe St Abbs Marine Station is a registered charity and has a research collaboration agreement with Edinburgh Napier and Heriot-Watt universities. All three partners are members of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS).  They particularly focus on issues related to marine conservation and sustainability, as well as education and providing excellent research facilities.

 

 

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MRV Alba na Mara Survey 0517A Programme

Thu, 2017-04-06 10:00

Duration: 06 – 26 April 2017

Fishing Gear: Scallop Dredges

Objectives:

  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 flesh samples for genetic and toxin analysis back at the laboratory.
  7. To undertake underwater filming trials using a Go-pro camera.
  8. If time permits carry out a depletion study on a selected dredge tow.

Procedure:

The survey will depart from Fraserburgh on 06 April and after vessel drills, make passage for the West Coast stations on the survey.

Scallop dredge hauls will be made at sites used on previous surveys as shown Figure 1. Hauls will be of 30 minutes duration.  In addition to the historical tows, additional tows will be done to the South West of Islay and if time permits, from the Clyde.  From each haul all of the scallops will be measured to the half centimetre below and aged.  Numbers and size distribution of commercial fish and shellfish species will be recorded along with scallop shell damage and starfish numbers and species.  Tissue samples will also be collected from selected sites and frozen for toxin analysis back at the laboratory.

Figure 1: Scallop Dredge Haul Sites

Figure 1 0517A Scallop Haul sites

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It’s all about… fabulous forests and wonderful woodlands

Fri, 2017-03-31 10:00

The latest edition of the Scotland’s Environment web have been published and the theme – It’s all about… fabulous forests and wonderful woodlands – is about celebrating and raising awareness of the importance of forests of all types.  And with 18% of land in Scotland covered by woodland, and our forests contributing significantly to the wellbeing of our economy, wildlife and our own lives, we certainly have good cause to celebrate. And that’s why it’s needed two editions!

Did you know that Marine Scotland Science freshwater colleagues also have an interest in trees though?  Water temperature (Tw) is important for the growth, production and survival of freshwater fish and there is understandable concern over rising temperatures due to climate change. Under certain circumstances, bankside trees can reduce high temperatures providing management options however, fisheries and river managers first need information on where rivers are hottest, where temperatures will increase most and where bankside tree planting would be most beneficial.

Want to read more? Excellent! We’ve produced a topic sheet about the work we’re doing through the Scotland River Temperature Monitoring Network (SRTMN).

Further Information

 

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