Cruise inventory

FRV Alba Na Mara 0313A

Cruise plan

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)FRV Alba Na Mara (74NM)
Cruise identifier0313A
Cruise period2013-03-12 — 2013-03-31
Port of departureFraserburgh, United Kingdom
Port of returnFraserburgh, United Kingdom

1. To sample sandeel larvae at 28 sites off the east-coast of Scotland and within the Wee Bankie/Marr Bank PICMATOP study area. Each site will be re-sampled after a lapse of approximately eight days (total sites = 56). Samples will be collected using the Gulf III plankton sampler in a series of oblique tows and will be subsequently preserved in isopropanol (propan-2-ol, 80% conc.). Larval samples will be aged analysed in the laboratory later. Whole larval samples (n=50) will also be collected and frozen at five stations (see Figure 1) for otolith microchemistry. The 2m square Methot net will be used to sample sandeel larvae if it is found that the Gulf III is unable to catch larger larval size classes.

2. To sample plankton communities at each site. Samples will be collected at the 28 sites using a vertically deployed, dual bongo net. These samples will be stored in formalin and will be analysed in the laboratory later for sandeel prey. Bongo samples and associated water samples will also be conducted during the return phase of the survey (total sites = 56).

3. To sample the variation in temperature and salinity in the water column using a Seabird CTD sampler. The CTD will be deployed in conjunction with the dual bongo net.

4. To collect further water samples and chlorophyll samples at each site. Water samples will be taken during the deployment of the dual bongo nets. Sample depths will vary between stations.


Scientific equipment will be loaded onto Alba na Mara on 08 March 2013.

Scientists will join the vessel at approximately 0830 hrs on the morning of Tuesday 12 March. The vessel will then proceed to the first sample station to the east of Kinnaird Head. Plankton samples (using the bongo net), water samples, and CTD transects will be taken at each station during a single vertical deployment from the side of the vessel. Further samples of sandeel larvae will then be collected using the GULF III plankton sampler towed in a double oblique pattern. Trial oblique tows using the Methot net will be conducted at the first two stations to determine if this sampling method collects larger sandeel larvae more effectively. Although it is not thought that further deployment will be necessary, larval samples may be collected using the Methot net at additional stations during the survey. Daily scientific sampling will thereafter occur between 0700 hrs and 1900 hrs.

It is the intention to sample at each station, in a north to south order, twice during the survey, with the Alba returning to Kinnaird Head at the mid-point. The successful completion of the eastward stations may require the vessel to lie-out overnight, weather permitting.

It is expected that the vessel will return to Montrose on the late afternoon of the 21 March for the purposes of a half landing. Changes to the scientific staff will be made at this time. The vessel will then leave Montrose as early as is possible after the completion of a 24h rest period.

Work will cease on the morning of the 30 March to allow the vessel sufficient time to return to Fraserburgh for unloading.
Chief scientistPhilip Boulcott (Marine Scotland Aberdeen Marine Laboratory)
Cruise programmeFRV Alba Na Mara 0313A cruise programme 0313a.pdf — access key 'C' (0.10 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth Sea
SpecificWee Bankie, Marr Bank