Marine Scotland

New Year is a bit rubbish for the Scotia

January 3, 2018 by No Comments | Category Marine Litter, Marine Scotland Surveys, Research Vessel Surveys

Duration: 4-19 January 2018


  1. To undertake water, sediment and biological sampling for the Clean Seas Environmental Monitoring Programme (CSEMP).
  2. To collect water samples for nutrient studies as part of the Scottish Coastal Eutrophication Assessment Survey (SCEAS).
  3. Monitor and record all litter brought aboard in all trawls. Sample water column and sediment for micro-plastic litter. Collect fish guts and any other biota of interest for microplastic research.
  4. Deploy Aquatracka and Seabird 19 to collect fluorescence data.


Surface water will be collected for hydrographic nutrient studies (SCEAS) throughout the survey at fixed time intervals (Hourly for ammonia and every 30 minutes for nutrients). The vessel will sample from the Forth to Berwick initially, north to Montrose Bank then following the sediment/fish sampling track. Nutrient samples will be analysed onboard as far as possible. Any remaining at end of the survey will be returned to the laboratory for analyses.

Fish sampling will be carried out at the Montrose Bank, Fladen (Fair Isle), North Minch. and Colonsay CSEMP sites (Table 1). Weather permitting a fish site will be identified for the Faroe-Shetland Channel.

Sediment sampling will be carried out at the East coast, Inner and Outer Moray Firth, Faroe-Shetland Channel, Minch North, Minch South, Sea of Hebrides and Colonsay. Sediment sampling will also be carried out at the four CSEMP fixed sites (NMMP85 – North Minch, NMMP95 – Inner Moray Firth, NMMP105 – Outer Moray Firth, NMMP165 – Montrose Bank) (Table 1).

Sediments will be sampled for chemical analyses at all locations. Fish will be sampled for chemical analyses, biological effects and fish diseases. Some biological effects measurements will be carried out during the survey.

Monitoring of all litter brought on board during trawling operations will continue throughout the survey. The catamaran will be deployed to sample for micro-plastics whenever possible and samples processed onboard. Additional sediment samples will also be taken for micro-plastics where possible. Fish guts and any other biota of interest will be preserved and returned to the lab for analysis.

The Aquatracka will be deployed in the Forth and in at least 1 other area to obtain reference measurements.

Sediment will be collected to provide chemistry laboratory reference material. Where possible, if sufficient suitable fish are obtained which are not required for other studies then livers will also be sampled for reference material.

Further Information:

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