Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Offshore survey of Fladen Grounds due to commence in the New Year

On Friday 4th January a two week survey will kick off a new round of planned JNCC offshore surveys for 2013. The first survey of the year will be heading out to a large muddy basin off Scotland called the Fladen Grounds. Two members of JNCC staff have joined the Cefas Endeavour research vessel, to undertake detailed surveys of three national Nature Conservation MPA proposals within the Fladen Grounds area. These MPA proposals could contribute to the protection and conservation of Scotland’s spectacular and diverse marine environment.

The three areas to be surveyed are Central Fladen MPA proposal, Western Fladen MPA proposal and South-east Fladen MPA proposal. These areas have been identified to protect components of the feature ‘Burrowed mud’. The Central Fladen MPA proposal includes  Seapens and burrowing megafauna and the tall sea pen Funiculina quadrangularis, with Western and South-east Fladen identified as science-based alternatives to the representation of the seapens and burrowing megafauna contained within the Central Fladen MPA proposal. Burrowed mud habitats can contain a range of creatures like seapens, fireworks anemones, amphipods and burrowing megafauna such as the Dublin Bay Prawn Nephrops norvegicus, more commonly known as scampi.

The main aim of this survey is to gather additional evidence to support these Nature Conservation MPA proposals for the Scottish Marine Protected Area Project.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Land ahoy!

Well folks....we've just arrived back in Lowestoft after fourteen days at sea. In light of the appalling weather we've had on the trip, we're certainly happy with the amount of data we've managed to gather at the three areas of interest; both from a quality and quantity perspective.  It is important not to forget though that the work doesn't stop here, and the data will need to be analysed and interpreted following the survey. 

You may have noticed a few hairy upper lips on some of the male scientists throughout the blog posts.  In a show of solidarity, scientists from Cefas and JNCC donned their Mo's and joined their hairy compatriots to show support for Movember.  Check out the picture below....

Cefas and JNCC scientists commemorating the last day of Movember.

All that's left to say now is a big thanks to the Cefas scientists (and a special mention to Sue the Scientist in Charge plus Julia and Joanna, the shift leads) as well as the Master and crew of the RV Cefas Endeavour.  We hope you've enjoyed reading the survey blog.  Until next time.....

The sun sets on another survey.