FRV Alba Na Mara 1714A

Cruise plan

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)FRV Alba Na Mara (74NM)
Cruise identifier1714A
Cruise period2014-09-26 — 2014-10-14
Port of departureFraserburgh, United Kingdom
Port of returnGreenock, United Kingdom

Benthic Survey of Burrowed Mud Habitats: 1714A will survey the waters around the Marine Protected Area (MPA) sited at the island of Canna. Video surveys of the seabed will be carried out during this work in addition to the collection of RoxAnn sediment data. It is the primary objective of this cruise to survey monitoring sites previously surveyed in 2012 and 2013 that support Scotland's Priority Marine Features. Work from these surveys will be used to determine the effect of MPAs established in Scottish waters. A secondary objective will be to survey additional sites in the area surrounding the Small Isles and another to the north of the Isle of Skye that could provide suitable substrate for the tall sea pen, Funiculina quadrangularis, and for the fan mussel, Atrina fragilis. These data, in conjunction with data gathered from less suitable sites, will be used to refine habitat suitability models for these species. Species type, species densities and substrate type will be recorded during the survey. Further post survey analysis will be conducted on this data.

Larval Dispersal: 1714A will sample plankton from the water around Canna. The programme of work follows on from plankton surveys conducted in June 2012 (survey 1012A), and September 2013 (1213A). Sampling will be conducted using the large (1 m diameter) dual bongo net.

Further to this work, 1714A will also retrieve a spat collecting mooring from Canna which was deployed from the MV Spanish John II on the 29 April 2014. Candidate A. fragilis spat found on the spat collectors will be measured, weighed and placed in holding tanks for further cultivation in the laboratory.

Both work streams underpin work package four of the research ROAME SP004.


Weather permitting Alba na Mara will depart Fraserburgh at 10:00 hrs on 26 September heading for the west coast. If the weather is suitable the vessel will continue her passage down to Gruinard Bay where she will begin operations. During this time the vessel will conduct a video survey in the waters surrounding Skye and, as the survey proceeds south, the Small Isles. Passage will be made for Mallaig for the purposes of a half landing and to disembark scientific staff on 6 or 7 September (provisional). The vessel will return to Canna after the half landing to resume survey work. Normal contact will be maintained with the Laboratory.
Chief scientistPhilip Boulcott (Marine Scotland Aberdeen Marine Laboratory)
Cruise programmeFRV Alba Na Mara 1714A cruise programme 1714a.pdf  (0.23 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralInner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland
SpecificSkye, the Small Isles.