Marine Scotland

Smolts on the Sunbeam

May 23, 2019 by No Comments

Scientists from Marine Scotland Science (MSS) are currently undertaking a smolt survey aboard the Fraserburgh pelagic trawler Sunbeam (FR487). The survey runs from 10 – 19 May 2019. The main objective is to survey salmon and sea trout smolt migration routes at various points both inshore and offshore (approx. 45 nmiles) along the Scottish east coast. The route includes the Moray Firth, Firths of Forth and Tay. MSS are using a specially designed net which samples from sea surface down to approximately 10m below the surface.

The rear part of the net incorporates a metal frame containing video recording capabilities and checks for Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags on fish, which are essentially barcodes that give reliable data, from shore tagged individual fish of various river origins, on specific animal movement. The net is operated with the codend either open or closed to retain fish for genetic assignment to regions and river of origin.

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