Cruise inventory

FRV Alba Na Mara 1312A

Cruise summary report

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)FRV Alba Na Mara (74NM)
Cruise identifier1312A
Cruise period2012-07-28 — 2012-08-11
Port of departureFraserburgh, United Kingdom
Port of returnLeith, United Kingdom

1. To obtain estimates of the distribution and abundance of Nephrops burrows in the Firth of Forth, Moray Firth and, if time allows, off Arbroath using underwater cameras.
2. To use the TV footage to record the occurrence of other benthic fauna and evidence of commercial trawling activity.
3. To collect trawl caught samples of Nephrops for comparison of reproductive condition and morphometrics in each of the different survey areas.
4. To collect samples of Nephrops stomachs for evidence of the parasite Stichocotyle nephropis.


Scientific staff joined MRV Alba-na-Mara on 28 July and after fitting some additional equipment to the sledge, the vessel sailed for the first station at the Southern Trench in the Moray Firth. This site was used to pay out the majority of the cable and re-spool it back on to the winch under tension, to avoid loose coils of cable developing later in the survey. With calm seas the more offshore stations were surveyed first before going to anchor in New Aberdour Bay. The vessel worked west over the next two days, anchoring at Cullen and Lossiemouth on successive nights. On 31 July further TV sites were surveyed through the day and in the evening a trawl was carried out before anchoring in Burghead Bay. On 1 August, in fresh conditions, the sites off Tarbat Ness were surveyed as well as those off Forres, which completed all the Moray Firth TV stations. The vessel then returned to the anchorage at Burghead Bay.

On the return journey to Fraserburgh on 2 August, a trawl was carried out around midday, and the catch was worked up en route to port, arriving there in the evening. After taking on water the vessel sailed for St Andrews Bay on the morning of 3 August. Thick fog accompanied the vessel over the following two days; TV sites off Eyemouth and in the outer Firth of Forth were surveyed, anchoring at Pease Bay and at the Isle of May on consecutive nights.

TV operations continued throughout 6 August before returning to the Isle of May after a trawl. Work continued westward during the next two days in sometimes difficult conditions due to fresh winds and deteriorating visibility on the seabed. Another trawl was completed on 8 August and the catch was worked up whilst at anchor in Largo Bay.

The trawl was cleaned on the morning of 9 August before continuing with the TV survey throughout the rest of the day. The last few stations off Leith were surveyed on the morning of 10 August before going in to port, where all working areas were cleaned and scientific equipment was packed away.
Chief scientistAdrian Weetman (Marine Scotland Aberdeen Marine Laboratory)
ProjectRV1208, 20092
Cruise programmeFRV Alba Na Mara 1312A cruise programme 1312a.pdf — access key 'C' (0.02 MB) 
Cruise reportFRV Alba Na Mara 1312A cruise report 1312a.pdf — access key 'C' (0.04 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth Sea
SpecificFirth of Forth, Moray Firth, Arbroath
Track chartsFRV Alba Na Mara 1312A cruise track — 1312atrk.pdf (0.01 MB)