FRV Alba Na Mara 0121A

Cruise plan

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)FRV Alba Na Mara (74NM)
Cruise identifier0121A
Cruise period2021-01-06 — 2021-01-22
Port of departureFraserburgh, United Kingdom
Port of returnFraserburgh, United Kingdom

- To carry out systematic sediment sampling in the Moray Firth.
- To obtain video footage from Nephrops grounds using a hand deployed lander to measure Nephrops burrow diameter, and where possible, associated complex size.
- To observe fauna in the Moray Firth using the static lander and time lapse camera.


Survey activity will be very dependent on the weather, and it may be required to alter the work plans during the survey. All the work is scheduled to be completed in the Moray Firth.

On leaving port the vessel will head west to the Inner Moray Firth. On arrival, two suitable sites will be located to deploy the landers. Each lander will be equipped with a time lapse camera, flash and power supply. Ideally the landers will be lowered onto Nephrops grounds, but weather and local commercial activity will have to be taken into consideration. Depending on the weather and progress with the work schedule, these frames will remain in place until for the duration of the survey. The footage from both landers will be downloaded at sea once the landers have been recovered. However, there maybe a requirement for the landers to be recovered mid-point during the survey and then redeployed.

Sediment samples will be taken on north/south transects, beginning where safe and practicably as possible, and in discussion with the skipper, as close to the east side of Riff Bank North in the Beauly Firth. Once clear of Tarbat Ness, the work will be repeated in the area off Dornoch, and work east. Once clear of Tarbat Ness the work will continue east, working alternately north to south then south to north, beginning a new transect when samples show strong evidence of non-Nephrops habitat. Each station will be 0.5 of a mile apart north/south and each transect approximately three miles apart east to west. Samples will be obtained using a Day Grab, with each sample being frozen.

Depending on weather conditions, a self-contained camera system mounted inside a small frame (with a footprint of approx. 40 cm x 40 cm) will be lowered to the sea bed by hand. As the vessel drifts across the high density Nephrops habitat, the frame will make contact with the sea bed and obtain video footage of the grounds. This will be carried out for approximately one hour at a time (the length of the battery life) and repeated on a daily basis when possible and appropriate. The frame will have a graduated rule attached to provide a scale reference.

Due to the impact of COVID19 there will be no half landing during the survey.
Chief scientistAdrian Weetman (Marine Scotland Aberdeen Marine Laboratory)
Cruise programmeFRV Alba Na Mara 0121A cruise programme 0121a.pdf  (0.02 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth Sea
SpecificMoray Firth