Marine Scotland

Looking for flatfish with the Sir John Murray

October 30, 2017 by No Comments | Category Fisheries, Marine Scotland Science, Research Vessel Surveys

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

Tags: , , , ,


Leave a comment

By submitting a comment, you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy policy to see how the Scottish Government handles your information.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *