FRV Alba Na Mara 1813A

Cruise plan

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)FRV Alba Na Mara (74NM)
Cruise identifier1813A
Cruise period2013-12-06 — 2013-12-20
Port of departureLeith, United Kingdom
Port of returnFraserburgh, United Kingdom

1. To determine the abundance, length and age of sandeels in the sediment in regions east of the Firth of Forth and around Turbot bank.
2. To collect and preserve frozen samples of sandeels for analysis of age and maturity.
3. Collect approx. 300 live sandeels for an egg development experiment.


All required gear will be loaded onto the vessel on 4 December. Scientific staff will be transported to Leith to join the vessel on 6 December.

Two regions of historical importance for sandeel fishing will be surveyed. In the first half of the survey a series of 8 dredge stations to the east of the Firth of Forth will be sampled following the protocol established in 1999. A modified scallop dredge will be used to catch sandeels buried in the substrate. Further stations in this region will be sampled if time permits. In the second half of the survey, the dredge will be deployed at stations 20 - 36 in the Turbot bank region. Ideally 5 repeat tows will be conducted at each station although this may be reduced to a minimum of 2 if catch quantities are low or available time is limited. Dredge duration will be approximately 10 minutes.

At each dredge station, all sandeels will be identified to species level, measured, and otoliths (5, 8 or 10 depending on length strata, per half centimetre) will be taken for age determination. From each of the survey locations, sub-samples of 100 sandeels < 9 cm TL and 100 sandeels ≥ 9 cm TL (age 1+) will be frozen individually for later analysis.

Towards the end of the survey, time permitting, additional tows will be carried out with the intention of capturing live sandeels for an egg development experiment. If successful, aquarium staff will be notified to collect them from Fraserburgh for transport back to the laboratory.

Following the completion of survey work, Alba na Mara will return to Fraserburgh for unloading on 20 December 2013.

Normal contacts will be maintained with the laboratory.
Chief scientistJoanne Clarke (University of Glasgow Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)
Cruise programmeFRV Alba Na Mara 1813A cruise programme 1813a.pdf  (0.27 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth Sea
SpecificFirth of Forth
Track chartsFRV Alba Na Mara 1813A cruise track — 1813atrk.pdf (0.13 MB)