Cruise inventory

Caspian 0806H

Cruise summary report

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)Caspian (7401)
Cruise identifier0806H
Cruise period2006-11-02 — 2006-11-12
Port of departureKinlochbervie, United Kingdom
Port of returnKinlochbervie, United Kingdom

1. To undertake a nationally co-ordinated demersal trawling survey of anglerfish on the western continental shelf/slope using the BT195 monktrawl.
2. To obtain a temperature profile at each trawling station.
3. To obtain gill samples for genetic analysis from L. budegassa.
4. To obtain catch weights and length frequency data for both megrim (L. whiffiagonis) and four spot megrim (L. boscii). In addition Norway lobster (N. norvegicus) numbers and weights were also recorded from each haul.


The intention was for Caspian to depart from Kinlochbervie harbour at 1800 on Thursday 2 November. However a hydraulics problem delayed sailing until midnight. Caspian then headed WNW, arriving at the first station 10nm west of the Butt of Lewis at approximately 0800 on Friday 3 November. The ground in this area is rather unforgiving and subsequently the gear came fast a couple of times although thankfully there was no damage to the fishing gear. The net returned to the vessel after a one hour tow intact and with decent numbers of anglerfish albeit small specimens. The Caspian then continued south and west covering the shallow stations west of the Hebrides and overall continued to encounter good catches of small anglerfish. Weather during the first four days was poor with the wind blowing a steady 25 - 30 knots. Despite this the vessel continued to fish without any real problems. Caspian arrived in the South Minch on the morning of the 6 November having dodged south during the night. Good progress was made despite the poor weather and by the early morning of the 7 November 15 stations had been completed with the vessel and the fishing gear continuing to perform well. Station 16 came back fouled with extensive repairs needing to be made to the starboard wing section and the crown of the net. A substitute tow was located 7nm NNE of the foul haul and was completed without incident. Although three boulders were present in the codend the gear remained intact and the survey was able to proceed. Caspian now headed north to tackle the more westerly and generally deeper offshore stations of the survey. Station 25 had to be abandoned due to extensive gillnetting in the vicinity of the sample location and another additional tow was found further north in approximately the same depth. (Haul 29 - station 1). Progress was hampered at this time by strong winds and a large swell. With the threat of storm force winds looming for the night of the 9 November Caspian pushed on and was able to complete another 7 stations before the weather forced the vessel to run for shelter. This brought the total number of valid hauls up to 31. Storm force westerly winds forced Caspian to shelter behind the Butt of Lewis until the morning of the 10 November. By noon there was still no improvement and the decision was made to put into Stornoway with a view to reassessing the situation in 24 hours. On Saturday 11 the wind was still storm force and by this time had veered into the NW which reduced options further. The wind finally abated in the early hours of Sunday 11 November and Caspian put to sea again. With significant residual swell and only an eight hour working window before tidal restrictions meant Caspian had to return to Kinlochbervie the decision was made to complete one additional tow in the North Minch before heading in. (Haul 33 - station 2). This was completed successfully and Caspian was alongside at Kinlochbervie by 1500 on Sunday 12 November.
Chief scientistFinlay Burns (Fisheries Research Services Aberdeen Marine Laboratory)
Coordinating bodyFRS
Cruise reportCaspian 0806H cruise report 0806h.pdf — access key 'C' (0.37 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralInner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland
North East Atlantic Ocean (limit 40W)
SpecificNorth Minch From 56deg - 60deg North
Track chartsCaspian 0806H cruise track — 0806htrk.pdf (0.09 MB) 
Physical oceanography 
Surface measurements underway (T,S)Quantity: number of stations = 32
Description: T only.
Biology and fisheries 
Demersal fishQuantity: number of stations = 32
Description: Demersal trawling survey of anglerfish.