Reviewing the survey plan
Unfortunately, this lift in the gloomy weather didn’t last long and the swell increased just enough to prohibit the use the mulitbeam. The weather was still too rough to use to Hamon grab or camera equipment and so we planned a series of Day grabs. The Day grab is smaller and lighter than the Hamon grab and is therefore safer to deploy over the side of the vessel, in poor weather. We designed a sampling grid which provided good coverage across the Scanner Pockmark cSAC and extended into the area outside (an area which is part of a proposed area for a national Nature Conservation MPA (under the Scottish MPA project). We made good progress over the remainder of the day. Samples taken were composed primarily of mud and one sample contained the seapen Virgularia mirabilis.
We’ve adopted a large amount of seabirds that spend the day circling around the ship and sitting on the water beside us, most likely hoping we are a fishing boat with some sort of food!