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New road cuts journey times by half

Marine Scotland News list - 5 hours 8 min ago

Economic benefits of £745m Aberdeen by-pass highlighted.

Monks, Megs and More…

Marine Scotland Blog - 6 hours 27 min ago

The second leg of the Monkfish Survey (1219H) departed a sunny Scrabster on the MFV Genesis on Sunday 28th April. It was a 36 hour steam out to Rockall, which gave us plenty of time for some beauty sleep.  We then began fishing on Tuesday in some fine, calm conditions.

The aim of the survey was to sample the Rockall plateau for: monks, megrim, four-spotted megrim, and skates.  Plenty of all were caught, with some large “barn door” skates and monkfish making an appearance. We collected biological data from each species, which included: measuring the fish, sexing, and removing the otolith for later age determination.Different Species found on 1219H Genesis Survey

Some more unusual species were found during the sampling including: Sea Toads (Chaunacidae), Manefish (Caristiidae) and Bigeye (Epigonidae) – you can see a few pictured below.

Overall we completed 30 trawls (28 successful) during our six days fishing around Rockall. The Genesis’ crew were exceptionally helpful, even assisting with measuring and collecting the biological samples! Pilot Whales made a brief appearance on our second last day, but they had moved off swiftly before cameras were yielded. We finished up our sampling on Sunday and started our long 30+ hour steam back, landing into a sunny but cold Ullapool on Tuesday 7th May in time for coffee and a bacon roll.

Further Information


The post Monks, Megs and More… appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Early Learning and Childcare expansion programme

Marine Scotland News list - 16 hours 50 min ago

New initiative will boost quality of childcare.


Mental health pilot project extended

Marine Scotland News list - Sun, 2019-05-19 00:01

Distress Brief Intervention programme available to 16 and 17-year-olds.

Developing the construction workforce

Marine Scotland News list - Fri, 2019-05-17 11:47

Improving skills to meet future housing demand.

Healthy relationships and consent

Marine Scotland News list - Fri, 2019-05-17 09:30

New national resource to support young people.

Reducing ineffective short prison terms

Marine Scotland News list - Fri, 2019-05-17 09:15

Order published to extend presumption against short prison sentences.

Communities want more local powers

Marine Scotland News list - Thu, 2019-05-16 12:57

Initial findings published of review into the devolution of local powers.

Smolt Trawl Survey with the Sunbeam

Marine Scotland Blog - Thu, 2019-05-16 10:30
MFV Sunbeam FR487

Survey: 1419H Programme

Duration: 10-19 May 2019

Scientific Gear:

  1. Smolt trawl, Thyboron type 15vf pelagic trawl doors (6m2), Dyneema sweep rig and Fenders (300mm diameter with 215kg buoyancy) attached four per side of the trawl.
  2. Video frame/box incorporating pit tag detector.
  3. Self-contained underwater camera systems.
  4. New Åkrehamn Trålbøteri fish-lift aquarium system incorporating grid box and aluminum live fish aquarium.

To undertake a smolt trawl survey in the outer Moray Firth, and elsewhere off the Scottish east coast, including offshore from the Firths of Tay and Forth.


All trawl gear, video-frame, fish-lift aquarium and scientific equipment will be transported to Fraserburgh and rigged aboard the MFV Sunbeam. The vessel will set sail and make passage to commence the smolt survey on the Scottish east coast or, if the weather is unfavourable, in the Moray Firth area.

Trawl Gear

The smolt trawl is designed to operate with its headline held at the surface and the footrope at approximately 12 m depth. The headline and top sweeps of the net are supported using 50 x 200 mm floats (headline), 2 x 1400 mm long fender floats at net quarters and 1 x Polyform A6 fender buoy + 2 x 1400 mm long fender floats per side (top sweep). The trawl doors are designed to fish just below the surface (max depth 50-60 m) and buoyant Dyneema rope used throughout the sweep rig. The video frame is attached to the trawl using netting with supporting bridles and made neutrally buoyant using a combination of 275 mm and 200 mm floats. (A rigging specification is given in Guidance Note 1.)

The fish-lift aquarium system will replace the video-frame system at the rear of the smolt trawl. It is a closed aluminum boat shaped aquarium and designed to produce the lowest possible turbulence inside and, therefore, allows the fish caught inside to swim unharmed and is an improved version of a fish-left aquarium designed by Holst and McDonald, 2000 (see Guidance note 2).

Trawling Plan

This survey will build on the successful 2017-2018 survey work in the Moray Firth and elsewhere off the Scottish east coast. The 2019 survey will further investigate the migration routes of salmon and sea trout smolts from Moray Firth rivers across the Moray Firth and carry out the second survey of smolts off the Firths of Tay and Forth (see main picture). There is also potential to investigate further offshore in informative locations. The net requires a minimum depth of about 40 m for operation and is deployed in an arc, or arcs, so that the ship wash misses the net.

Tows of two hours or less will be carried out with a cod end in place and smolts retained for genetic assignment to rivers and/or regions of origin. The by-catch will be recorded by species. The captured video and PIT tag recordings will be used to identify when fish were caught during the tows. It is also possible that the net will also be deployed open ended at times, instead of using a cod end, potentially for longer tows, but not providing samples for genetic assignment. A combination of tows with and without the cod end in place may allow survey work to be carried out for up to 16 hours a day.

If available, the fish-lift system will be deployed to retain smolts in better condition, and allow smolts, not required for sampling, to be returned alive to the sea after minimal contact.

Guidance Note 1. Smolt Trawl Rig Details

Trawl (4 panel constructed from PA netting)
• Mesh size (Full mesh in mm):
o Wings – 800
o Front/side panel sections – 800
o Lower cover/belly sections – 800
o Reducing 400-200-120-80-60 and end taper 40
o Straight extension – 40

• Frame lines and net opening
o Headline length – 70.2 m
o Side line length – 15.9 m
o Footrope length – 59.8 m
o Wing stretch length (nominal) – 62 m
o Trawl tapered body stretched length (nominal) – 69.6 m
o Straight extension stretched length – 8 m
o Fishing circle – 224 m
o Nominal net mouth opening at fishing circle (assumes meshes roped (hung) at 50% of full mesh size) – 844.8 m2.

Sweep rig and otterboards
• Sweeps – 150 m x 28 mm dia. Dyneema
• Backstrops – 15 m x 28 mm dia. Dyneema
• Headline/footrope extensions – 3m x 13mm long-link chain
• Otterboards – Thyborøn type 15vf pelagic otterboards:
o Surface area – 6m2
o Weight (each otterboard) – 1000kg + 200kg additional (8 x 25kg)

Flotation (headline)
• 50 x 200mm floats (each float 2.47kg buoyancy)
• 1 x Polyform (A2) H= 510mm Dia.= 300mm Buoyancy = 35kg
• Fenders (Blue Line JF2255):
o 1 per side at quarters – L = 1400mm Ø = 300mm buoyancy = 215kg
2 per side at wingends (attached to chain extensions) – L = 1400mm Ø = 300mm buoyancy = 215kg + 1 per side Polyform A6 buoy fender L = 111.8cm x Ø = 86.4cm buoyancy = 359kg

Guidance Note 2 – Fish-Lift Aquarium Schematic

1419H Guidance Note 2 Fish Lift

(Taken from J.C. Holst, A. McDonald/Fisheries Research 48 (2000) 87-91)

The post Smolt Trawl Survey with the Sunbeam appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Supporting Scotland's produce

Marine Scotland News list - Thu, 2019-05-16 00:01

£104k to promote locally sourced food and drink. 

Funeral cost guidance published

Marine Scotland News list - Thu, 2019-05-16 00:01

Recommendations to make clear cost information available.

New consumer advice service launched

Marine Scotland News list - Wed, 2019-05-15 12:38

Advice on purchasing products both online and in shops.

CashBack for Communities

Marine Scotland News list - Wed, 2019-05-15 10:45

Crime proceeds to steer young people away from offending.

Demersal Data Collection

Marine Scotland Blog - Wed, 2019-05-15 10:30
MFV Genesis BF505

Survey: 1119H Survey Programme

Duration: 9-17 May 2019

Fishing Gear: Anglerfish Trawl BT 195

Objectives:1119H Figure 1 Map showing approximate survey track and trawl positions
  1. Undertake a nationally co-ordinated demersal trawling survey of Anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius and Lophius budegassa) ICES area IVA and VIA
  2. Record and map distributions of Megrim (Lepidorhombus wiffiagonis), Four-Spot Megrim (Lepidorhombus boscii) Cod (Gadus morhua), Blue Skate (Dipturus batis) and Flapper Skate (Dipturus intermedius).
  3. Collect biological data on: Anglerfish species, Cod, Megrim, Four-Spot Megrim, Blue Skate and Flapper Skate.

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

The survey track and sampling locations will be delivered to the skipper prior to departure.


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

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

Further Information:

The post Demersal Data Collection appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Trauma Training Programme extended

Marine Scotland News list - Wed, 2019-05-15 10:26

Pilot schemes to build on high demand from frontline workers.

Empowering energy consumers

Marine Scotland News list - Wed, 2019-05-15 10:00

Protecting citizens' rights.

Vacancy: Marine Licensing Casework Manager

Marine Scotland Blog - Tue, 2019-05-14 14:00

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


The Licensing Operations Team in Marine Scotland provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for marine licences and Section 36 consents in Scottish Waters. The successful post holder will be responsible for processing applications for consents and licences, to contribute to the teams compliance and enforcement activity and manage risks through ensuring that procedures are followed. You will provide a high quality service to the Licensing Operations Team, Ministers, applicants, and stakeholders in a dynamic fast paced and evolving environment.


Qualifications Required:

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

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

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


Essential Criteria:

  1. Experience of critically reviewing environmental information, identifying gaps and using this to provide advice, recommendations and inform decisions to tight deadlines.
  2. Experience of licensing or consenting processes and legislative frameworks.
  3. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to demonstrate credibility with internal and external stakeholders, and show experience of working in a cross team environment.
  4. A proven record of strong planning and organisational skills, with the ability to work on your own initiative, manage a diverse workload and to adapt quickly to changing circumstances and expectations.

Further Information:
For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Nicola Bain who can be reached at nicola.bain@gov.scot or 0131 244 3836.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the resourcing team on 0131 244 9252 or via recruitment@gov.scot.

Further information for this job:

The post Vacancy: Marine Licensing Casework Manager appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Grabbing Samples at Decommissioned Murchison

Marine Scotland Blog - Tue, 2019-05-14 12:30
MRV Scotia

Survey: 0619S Programme

Duration: 28 April – 05 May 2019


  • Day grab;
  • Sieve table;
  • TV drop frame with lasers;
  • Armoured cable;
  • Multibeam echosounder system;
  • Sound Velocity Profile (SVP);
  • Time-lapse cameras; and
  • Associated moorings.

Assess the macro benthic ecology of drill cuttings material using time-lapse cameras.


MRV Scotia will depart from Aberdeen Harbour at 09:00 hours on 28 April and, after all safety drills have been undertaken, make passage to the decommissioned Murchison platform. The nature of the survey work will be heavily dependent on the prevailing weather conditions encountered and a daily plan will be agreed between the Scientist-in-Charge (SiC), Captain and Fishing Master.

Multibeam Bathymetry

A sound velocity profile (SVP) will be collected within the survey location. On completion of the SVP, MRV Scotia will conduct a multibeam swathe survey of approximately 5 x 5 km over the decommissioned site. Survey speed will be 4 knots. The output will be checked for any anomalous features that could interact with other survey equipment. This will provide insight to locate subsequent survey stations.

Grab Samples0619S Survey Locations - Figure 1

Grab samples of surface sediments will be collected and sub sampled for hydrocarbon analysis.

Seabed Video footage

Video footage and digital stills will be recorded using a drop-frame camera suspended 1-1.5 m above the seabed and towed at a speed of 1 knot or less (0.5 m per second).

Time-lapse Camera

Seven time-lapse cameras will be placed on the seabed guided by the bathymetry data collected.

If time permits, additional survey data will be collected from the Hutton decommissioned platform.


Further Information:


The post Grabbing Samples at Decommissioned Murchison appeared first on Marine Scotland.

First payments to be made to survivors of childhood abuse

Marine Scotland News list - Tue, 2019-05-14 10:34

Advance Payment Scheme up and running.


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