FRV Scotia 1121S

Cruise plan

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)FRV Scotia (748S)
Cruise identifier1121S
Cruise period2021-08-20 — 2021-09-06
Port of departureAberdeen, United Kingdom
Port of returnAberdeen, United Kingdom

1. Collect evidence (video and stills imagery) to further understanding on the extent, distribution, composition, abundance and characteristic communities of the FSSB DSSA.
2. Collect evidence (imagery and grab samples) to further understanding on the extent, distribution, key and influential species, characteristic communities and function of the FSSB OSSG.
3. Collect evidence (CTD profiles) to supplement the monitoring of environmental conditions within the FSSB.


All equipment will be loaded on Scotia when the previous survey returns to Aberdeen harbour. Marine Scotland personnel will set up equipment and prepare the vessel for surveying in the days leading up to 20 August. All personnel will join the vessel on 19 August in preparation for sailing. Scotia will transit towards the FSSB where, weather permitting and in consultation with ship officers, operations will begin.

The objectives above are listed in priority order and will be addressed sequentially on survey. Initially, the towed chariot video system will be used to define the lower depth limit of the FSSB DSSA by undertaking three, 7 km long transects at 600 m, 650 m and 700 m. Stations selected from a randomised transect sampling design will then be used to sample the DSSA using the dropframe camera system, with 50 transects running perpendicular to the slope within the FSSB. Priority will be given to the 400 m, 500 m and 600 m isobaths as available evidence suggests the highest DSSA occurrences at these depths. Targeting of further isobaths will be informed by reviewing the footage collected during the survey. The collected data will allow identification and enumeration of the epifauna (including key and characteristic epifauna) associated with the DSSA furthering our understanding of species distributions and the structure of epifaunal assemblages (for both DSSA and OSSG habitats).

On completion of the imagery work, the 800 m isobath will be targeted using a Hamon grab to collect samples (infaunal [> 1 mm], PSA and eDNA at each station) from areas of OSSG outside of the sponge belt. This will allow the identification and enumeration of infaunal species associated with the site including the biological assemblages, key and influential species and characteristic communities. CTD profiles will then be taken at existing oceanographic monitoring stations on the Nolso-Flugga (NOL) and Fair Isle-Munken (FIM) hydrographic sections that intersect with the FSSB adding to the existing time series used to monitor water masses in the Faroe-Shetland Channel.

In the event of a prolonged period of poor weather necessitating the ship to transit to a more sheltered location, inshore contingency survey locations have been identified following discussion with NatureScot.
Chief scientistDavid A Stirling (Marine Scotland Aberdeen Marine Laboratory), James Albrecht (Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough Office)
Cruise programmeFRV Scotia 1121S cruise programme 1121s.pdf  (0.14 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth East Atlantic Ocean (limit 40W)
SpecificFaroe-Shetland Channel