Predicting Suitable Habitat

May 10, 2018 by No Comments | Category Marine Directorate general, Marine Directorate Science, Marine Directorate Surveys, Research Vessel Surveys

Survey: 0618A – MRV Alba n Mara

Duration: 5-14 May 2018


  • Hybrid drop/lander frame and calibration mesh;
  • HD TV system and lights (five plastic cages);
  • Armoured cable, spare, axle stands and bar;
  • Stereo TV system; and
  • Day grab, table and two sieve drawers.

Background and Objectives:

This survey will conduct a benthic survey of southern, west-coast waters within Scotland’s jurisdiction. The primary objective is to survey identified sites that have the potential to support benthic components of Scotland’s Priority Marine Features (PMFs). Data from this survey will be used to populate species distribution models (SDMs). These SDMs will be used to increase our knowledge of PMFs located outside the Scottish Marine Protected Area (MPA) network and to produce area wide maps of predicted habitat suitability. Under the MarPAMM project, data collected from this survey will also contribute to larger interregional models of species distribution.

Specific objectives are as follows:

  1. To conduct UWTV video assessments of PMFs abundance within southern, west-coast waters; and
  2. To conduct a grab survey within areas identified as suitable for Arctica islandica.

Benthic survey:

The survey will consist of a series of short (~10 min) UWTV video tows (shown on Figure 1 below). To achieve this, the survey will utilise the newly built modular camera frame (combined drop and lander frame – 2460 × 1900 × 1940 mm, L × W × H) deployed from the aft of the vessel. Where the ground is hard, this frame will be deployed in the more compact drop frame configuration. Species type, species densities and substrate type (assessed visually) will be classified for each video transect post-survey.Figure 1 0618A 2018 General Survey Areas

Grab samples may also be taken in areas where the bivalve, Arctica islandica, has been indicated to be present. Here, sediment samples will also be taken and frozen for particle size analysis. No formalin storage will be necessary during this procedure.

Further Information:

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