FRV Alba Na Mara 1515A

Cruise plan

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)FRV Alba Na Mara (74NM)
Cruise identifier1515A
Cruise period2015-10-03 — 2015-10-22
Port of departureMallaig, United Kingdom
Port of returnMallaig, United Kingdom

1515A will survey the waters around the Small Isles Marine Protected Area (MPA). It is the primary objective to survey monitoring sites previously surveyed in 2012, 2013 and 2014 that support Scotland's Priority Marine Features (PMFs). 1515A will extend survey activities to possible control areas outside the MPA. 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 control sites in the area surrounding the Small Isles that provide suitable substrate for the tall sea pen, Funiculina quadrangularis. Data from both work streams will contribute to a potential impact (BACI) study once protective measures within the MPA are introduced. Potential surveys boxes are shown in Figure 1. Plankton tows within the Sound of Canna will also be conducted, targeting the larvae of the fan mussel, Atrina fragilis.


1. To survey known populations of priority marine feature (PMF) species within and outside the Small Isles MPA.
2. To conduct further assessments of Funiculina quadrangularis abundance within the Smalls Isles MPA and areas outside.
3. To assess the extent and density of Atrina fragilis aggregations within the Sound of Canna.
4. To conduct larval tows using the large dual bongo net within the Sound of Canna and nearby waters.
5. To survey areas outside the Sound of Canna that may provide suitable habitat for further Atrina fragilis aggregations.
6. If time/weather allows, to conduct exploratory surveys in areas outside the SMI MPA that may provide suitable controls for hard substrate PMF aggregations (i.e. Leptometra celtica, Parazoanthus anguicomis and Swiftia pallida.
Chief scientistPhilip Boulcott (Marine Scotland Aberdeen Marine Laboratory)
Cruise programmeFRV Alba Na Mara 1515A cruise programme 1515a.pdf  (0.75 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralInner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland
SpecificSmall Isles Marine Protected Area