Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Never fear we're here...MCZ Site Verification Survey CEND8_12C

So welcome to my first update for the third cruise of the MCZ site verification surveys. We mobilised Cefas Endeavour and left Lowestoft port on the 31st May, 2012. After a quick stop at a contaminants monitoring site we sailed round to the inshore site of Folkestone Pomerania. As multibeam had already been aquired at this site we proceeded with HamCam (a hamon grab with camera attached) and drop camera. The site is about 6km x 6km and took approximately 30hrs to complete.

Dead Mans Fingers (Alcyonium digitatum) and possible Keel worm (Pomatoceros sp.) on rocks

Upon completion of Folkestone Pomerania we proceeded to our two offshore sites, Offshore Overfalls and Offshore Brighton, to begin gathering further evidence for their designation. The sites are fairly large and our sampling strategy for Offshore Brighton can be seen below:

Broadscale habitat map overlaid with sampling locations and site boundary

We have been working steadily through the sites and are currently focused on collecting video and grab samples with opportunistic multibeam between stations. After this the data will be used to select areas for more intensive sampling and acoustics. Fingers crossed for continued good weather!

Thornback ray (Raja clavata)