1. To undertake flatfish and sediment sampling in the Clyde and Solway in support of the Clean Seas Environment Monitoring Programme.
2. To undertake fish sample preparation for subsequent eco-toxicological analyses.
3. To undertake survey of sea-surface litter in the Firth of Clyde and Solway Firth.
4. To undertake fish, shellfish and sediment sampling in support of the microplastics ROAME.
Scientific gear will be loaded on to the Sir John Murray in Troon on Thursday 08 November and the vessel will sail on Monday 12 November after all relevant safety drills have been completed.
Five surface (0-2 cm) sediment samples will be collected by Day grab for contaminant analysis from each of three water bodies in the Firth of Clyde and one in the Solway Firth. Flatfish (dab, plaice or flounder) will be collected for determination of disease status, contaminant concentrations and contaminant-induced biological effects from the Bowling, Holy Loch, Hunterston, Garroch Head and Pladda fishing stations. The catamaran neuston net will be towed at five knots in order to survey and sample sea-surface litter from various locations, depending on time availability. Bycatch from the fishing trawls will be sampled adventitiously for determination of microplastics in stomach contents; sediment samples will be taken for determination of microplastics; benthic macrolitter collected during trawling will also be identified and quantified. On completion of the survey, passage will be made to Troon where MSS scientific gear and staff will be unloaded on 20 November 2018.