1. To carry out standalone mackerel egg survey, on the western shelf and slope in the area from 52N to 59N.
2. Opportunistic trawling for adult mackerel samples, for exploratory ovary analysis.
Loading of the vessel will take place on the afternoon of 21 May in Ullapool and Altaire will depart on the following morning. After completing flow-meter calibrations the vessel will proceed through the Minch then west towards the southern end of Rockall Bank. The first plankton station is at 55 45N 15 45W and thereafter sampling will continue on a westerly heading on the same latitude and with a station spacing of one degree longitude until at least 24 45W. Similar transects will be undertaken northwards and with a spacing of one degree latitude up to and including 62 45N which will be the final transect. Depending on the progress made during the survey, additional stations located west of Iceland will also be completed. This decision will be taken in conjunction with the master of the vessel during the survey. Plankton stations will be sampled using the Gulf VII sampler with mounted CTD which will record salinity and temperature during the tow. The plankton tows will require the vessel to deploy the sampler at a speed of four knots. The sampler will then be lowered at a steady rate (ten seconds/metre) from the plankton crane to a maximum depth of 100m. The sampler will then be recovered at the same speed and rate. Once aboard, plankton samples will be washed from the sampler net, fixed in formalin, sorted and subsequently scored for egg abundance. Trawl samples may be taken at the discretion of the scientist in charge.