Marine Scotland

Looking for flatfish with the Sir John Murray

October 30, 2017 by No Comments

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.






ClydeInner Firth of ClydeOff Cloch Point55.948-4.894
ClydeInner Firth of ClydeEast of Strone Point55.984-4.881
ClydeInner Firth of ClydeLunderston Bay55.923-4.911
ClydeInner Firth of ClydeWeymss Point55.897-4.926
ClydeInner Firth of ClydeE of Toward (UIFM 2)55.868-4.945
ClydeInner Firth of ClydeHoly Loch – FRS55.971-4.892
ClydeLargs ChannelHunterston – FRS55.764-4.885
ClydeLargs ChannelHunterston255.777-4.890
ClydeLargs ChannelHunterston355.786-4.891
ClydeLargs ChannelHunterston455.792-4.889
ClydeLargs ChannelHunterston555.741-4.904
ClydeMiddle OffshoreEast of Brodick55.586-4.955
ClydeMiddle OffshoreMiddle Offshore South55.434-4.968
ClydeMiddle OffshoreMiddle Offshore55.506-4.899
ClydeMiddle Offshore5 km SW of Lady Isle55.508-4.814
ClydeMiddle Offshore7 km off Whiting Bay55.477-4.988
ClydeMiddle OffshoreGarroch Head – FRS55.660-4.986
Irish SeaSolwaySolway Firth @ NMMP site 2554.750-4.000
Irish SeaSolwaySolway Firth BP154.767-3.835
Irish SeaSolwaySolway Firth BP254.757-3.863
Irish SeaSolwaySolway Firth BP354.750-3.916
Irish SeaSolwaySolway Firth BP454.727-3.960

Table 2: Intended fishing locations and fish requirements.

ClydeOuter estuaryBowling55.925-4.480Flounder5025
ClydeInner FirthHoly Loch55.971-4.892Dab5025
ClydeLargs ChannelHunterston55.787-4.884Plaice20
ClydeMiddle OffshoreGarroch Head55.660-4.986Plaice25*25
ClydeOuter OffshorePladda55.420-5.215Plaice25*25
Irish SeaSolwayBalcary Point54.673-4.134Dab50

* 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).

RegionAreaPriorityManta net tows
ClydeEstuary (Greenock – Erskine Bridge)130 mins
ClydeInner Firth (Cloch Point – Greenock)130-45 mins
ClydeGare Loch245 mins
ClydeLoch Long260 mins
ClydeInner Firth (off Holy Loch)160 mins
ClydeKyles of Bute / Loch Striven160 mins
ClydeLargs Channel (E of Grt Cumbrae)160 mins
ClydeWest of Grt Cumbrae160 mins
ClydeMiddle Offshore260 mins
ClydeSound of Bute260 mins
ClydeLoch Fyne360 mins
ClydeIrvine Bay260 mins
ClydeAyr Bay260 mins
ClydeOuter Offshore260 mins
N ChannelNorth Channel290 mins
SolwayLuce Bay190 mins
SolwayWigton Bay160 mins
SolwayBalcary Point160 mins

Further Information

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