RV Cefas Endeavour 16/21

Cruise summary report

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)RV Cefas Endeavour (74E9)
Cruise identifier16/21
Cruise period2021-10-04 — 2021-11-07
Port of departureLowestoft, United Kingdom
Port of returnLowestoft, United Kingdom

1. Carry out the tenth autumn PELTIC survey: pelagic ecosystem survey of the western English Channel, Celtic Sea, including (for the second time) Cardigan Bay (for Welsh Government), to estimate the biomass of-, and gain insight into the populations of the small pelagic fish community including sprat (Sprattus sprattus), sardine (Sardina pilchardus), mackerel (Scomber scombrus), anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus), horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus). The PELTIC derived sardine biomass in area 7 will feed into its stock assessment (WGHANSA) and sprat biomass data from the western English Channel will feed into the stock assessment of sprat in area 7de (HAWG).
a. To carry out a fisheries acoustic survey during daylight hours only using four operating frequencies (38, 120, 200 and 333 kHz) to map and quantify the small pelagic species community.
b. To trawl for small pelagic species using a 20x40m VDK herring (mid-water) trawl in order to obtain information on:
- Species and size composition of acoustic marks
- Age-composition and distribution, for small pelagic species
- Length weight and maturity information of pelagic species
- Stomach contents of selected species
2. To collect biological data (size, weight, age and maturity) on range of data-limited fish species, including European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), black seabream (Spondyliosoma cantharus), striped red mullet (Mullus surmuletus), garfish (Belone belone), saury pike (Scomberesox saurus).
3. To collect plankton samples using two ring-nets with 80 µm, and 270 µm mesh sizes at fixed stations (red squares on map below). Carried out at night by vertical haul and samples will be processed onboard:
a. Ichthyoplankton (eggs and larvae, 270 µm) of pelagic species will be identified, counted and (in case of clupeids) staged and measured onboard to identify spawning areas.
b. Zooplankton (80 µm) will be stored for zooscan analysis back in the lab.
4. Water column sampling (yellow stations on map below). At fixed stations along the acoustic transect, a CTD (either an ESM2 profiler or a Seabird mounted on a Rosette sampler) will be deployed to obtain measurements of environmental properties within the water column. Water column profile and water samples will provide information on chlorophyll concentration, dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, turbidity, and dissolved inorganic nutrients concentration as well as the relevant QA/QC samples for calibration of the equipment. Water samples will be collected and fixed on board for analysis post-survey. Samples for analysis of the phytoplankton and microzooplankton communities will also be collected at the subsurface at fixed sampling stations.
5. Seabirds and Marine Mammals. Locations, species, numbers and activities observed will be recorded continuously during daylight hours by two Marinelife observers located on the bridge.
6. Ferrybox Continuous CTD/Thermo-salinograph. Continuously collect oceanographic data at 4 m depth during steaming, including chlorophyll concentration (from calibrated fluorescence).
7. To carry out hourly measurements of the phytoplankton functional groups using an online flow-cytometer, connected to the Ferrybox.
8. To collect water samples at 25 stations in the Bristol Channel and Cardigan Bay area to carry out an eDNA study on distribution and, where possible relative abundance, of bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) and angel shark (Squatina squatina) as well as biodiversity monitoring in Welsh- and adjacent waters.
9. To further trial the continuous Plankton Imager.
10. To collect between 25-50 specimens per species (anchovy, boarfish, herring, horse mackerel, mackerel, sardine) and freeze for further analysis in the lab supporting a study on microplastics in fish stomachs .
11. To collect a zooplankton sample using the 200 µm mesh ring-net at the West Gabbard2 SmartBuoy, for the Lifeform project (Defra) as part of the UK monitoring.

Chief scientistJeroen Van der Kooij (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science Lowestoft Laboratory)
Cruise programmeRV Cefas Endeavour 16/21 cruise programme endeavour16_21.pdf  (0.30 MB) 
Cruise reportRV Cefas Endeavour 16/21 cruise report endeavour16_21.pdf (2.12 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralEnglish Channel
Celtic Sea
SpecificWestern English Channel, Celtic Sea, Cardigan Bay (ICES Divisions VIIe, VIIf and parts of VIIa, VIIg)