FV Altaire 0219H

Cruise plan

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)FV Altaire (746A)
Cruise identifier0219H
Cruise period2019-04-16 — 2019-04-29
Port of departureUllapool, United Kingdom
Port of returnUllapool, United Kingdom

1. To carry out mackerel egg survey (ICES Triennial Survey), on the western shelf and slope in the area from 55 N to 60 N.
2. To collect fish samples, by trawling, for atresia and fecundity analysis back at the laboratory.


Loading will be completed upon arrival into Ullapool late on the morning of 16 April. And after flowmeter calibrations are undertaken in outer Loch Broom, Altaire will proceed to the first plankton station due North of the Butt of Lewis at 58 45N, 06 15W. A further station will be undertaken at 58 45N, 06 45W before taking a SW course down as far as 58 15N, 07 15W from where a westerly transect will be taken west until zero eggs are found. Thereafter, Scotia will be required to undertake some stations on and around the Rockall Trough and Bank before heading back onto the shelf edge west of the Hebrides to resume surveying northwards for the remainder of the survey. The progress of the German survey south of us may also have an impact on the overall survey plan. The proposed survey outline is highly provisional and as always the final extent and survey route will be dictated by the behaviour of the mackerel as well as the progress of the adjacent survey. Irrespective of the final survey route Altaire will arrive back in Ullapool for first thing on 29 April. Unloading will take place shortly after with both Gulf VII samplers together with a large proportion of the scientific equipment being unloaded.

Survey transect spacing will typically be at 30' intervals latitudinally with stations on the transects at 30' E/W intervals. Plankton stations will be taken using the Gulf VII sampler with mounted Seabird 19+ CTD which will record salinity and temperature during the deployments. The plankton tows will require the vessel to deploy at and maintain a steady speed of 4 knots. The sampler will be lowered at a steady rate (6m/min) from the crane to within 5 m of the seabed or 200 m - whichever is shallower. The sampler will then be recovered at the same speed. Once aboard, plankton samples will be washed into the sampler net before being removed, fixed in formalin and scored for egg abundance. Trawl samples will be taken at the discretion of the scientist in charge. There should be a maximum of eight trawls for the whole survey, and will usually be taken at or adjacent to the shelf edge. The precise length of each transect cannot be defined in advance as this survey uses an adaptive design, where sampling on a transect will continue until zero or very small numbers of eggs are found.
Chief scientistFinlay Burns (Marine Scotland Aberdeen Marine Laboratory)
Cruise programmeFV Altaire 0219H cruise programme 0219h.pdf  (0.06 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth East Atlantic Ocean (limit 40W)
SpecificShelf and slope west of the UK