FRV Alba Na Mara 0717A

Cruise plan

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)FRV Alba Na Mara (74NM)
Cruise identifier0717A
Cruise period2017-04-28 — 2017-05-18
Port of departureUllapool, United Kingdom
Port of returnFraserburgh, United Kingdom
ObjectivesSurvey 0717A serves work carried out by Scottish Natural Heritage and Marine Scotland Science investigating the distribution and quality of benthic biotopes in inshore waters around Scotland. The resultant data are required to underpin the management of the new suite of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) and to meet commitments prescribed by the Scottish MPA Monitoring Strategy. The 0717A survey aims in particular to establish the current status of benthic habitats within the Sound of Barra Special Area of Conservation (SAC).


1. Establish the current status of benthic habitat protected features within the Sound of Barra SAC, or contingency sites, using quantitative drop-camera sampling and grab methods.
2. Collect seabed samples using the day grab for sediment size classification and for infaunal analysis. Collected infaunal samples will be stored in 4% formalin.
3. Trial the EMFF mini drop video camera system and investigate features in the Wester Ross MPA (e.g. flame shell bed in Loch Broom and northern feather star aggregations on the sills at Loch Broom and Little Loch Broom). The camera will also investigate possible maerl habitats at the south-western edge of the MPA and outside the boundary. Grab sampling may also be undertaken here.
4. Trial baited camera systems used in the assessment of fish abundance, size and distribution within the Wester Ross MPA. This work will only go ahead if the system completes final production prior to loading.
Chief scientistPhilip Boulcott (Marine Scotland Aberdeen Marine Laboratory)
Cruise programmeFRV Alba Na Mara 0717A cruise programme 0717a.pdf  (1.25 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralInner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland
SpecificSound of Barra Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Wester Ross MPA (Loch Broom, Little Loch Broom).