Cruise inventory

FRV Scotia 1512S

Cruise plan

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)FRV Scotia (748S)
Cruise identifier1512S
Cruise period2012-10-25 — 2012-11-09
Port of departureAberdeen, United Kingdom
Port of returnAberdeen, United Kingdom

The main purpose of the survey is to obtain evidence to facilitate management discussions at the Wyville Thomson Ridge SCI and to develop methods for future MPS monitoring. Further aims are to survey the SMPA Faeroe-Shetland sponge belt area to confirm the presence and extent of deep-sea sponge aggregations


For this survey, blocks of specific interest have been identified over areas of high demersal fishing pressure as identified from VMS data. At each block, 100% coverage acoustic data will be collected. In central block A, approximately 25 km2 is shallower than 350m and this area will be surveyed using the Reson 7125 system. Elsewhere, in deeper water, the sidescan (SS) will be deployed. A USBL transponder will be attached to the SS cable to provide positional data via the HiPap system on board Scotia.

Sixteen, four kilometre long camera transects will be run at four depth zones perpendicular to repeat trawl lines identified from VMS data on Block A, while four transects will be completed over Block B. At each of these camera tows, samples will be collected with either the Hamon Grab or Rock Dredge depending on the substrate type. Specimens from these samples will be used to aid species identification from the videos and to help characterise the habitat. In addition to this, based on the acoustic data interpretation, up to 24 groundtruthing samples will be selected from within Block A and stratified either by depth or by interpreted habitat data (obtained from earlier surveys). Two or three stations will be sampled per stratum with camera work (500m tows) and grabbing/dredging for biological sampling. Sampling positions for all the above work will be provided while at sea and will be based on the outputs from the Reson and sidescan surveys.

Further to this, up to 10 camera tows will be carried out to the southeast of Blocks A and B, to duplicate work completed during the 2006 SEA SAC. Finally, Scotia will collect sidescan data in corridors of the SMPA Faeroe-Shetland sponge belt, in parallel with the depth contours. It is estimated that a maximum of five acoustic lines will be completed in this area. A drop-camera will then be deployed (a maximum of 10) to identify deep sea sponge aggregations. Representative seabed samples will be collected using the Rock Dredge and mini Hamon grab to enable sponge species identification.

Loading of all sampling gear will take place over the period 22-24 October. Scotia will then sail on the morning of 25 October and make passage to a position in the Southern Trench where, once safety drills have been completed, testing and trial deployments of acoustic and camera gear will be carried out. On completion of this task, Scotia will sail for the areas of interest near the Wyville Thomson Ridge approximately 150km North West of Cape Wrath. A daily operational sampling plan will be agreed between the SIC, the Captain and the JNCC Team Leader. In the event of adverse weather on the WTR, sampling effort will be transferred to stations probably within the Minch.
Chief scientistMichael R Robertson (Marine Scotland Aberdeen Marine Laboratory)
ProjectSP02Q0 (20113)
Cruise programmeFRV Scotia 1512S cruise programme 1512s.pdf — access key 'C' (0.22 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth East Atlantic Ocean (limit 40W)
SpecificWyville Thomson Ridge SCI, SMPA Faeroe-Shetland sponge belt area