Celtic Sea Underwater TV SurveyTTRS Weblog

Underwater TV Survey of the 2016 Celtic Sea Nephrops Grounds TTRS Weblog 

Denise O’Sullivan BSc

Coaching by means of Analysis Surveys (TTRS)  is a program run by SMART (Strategic Marine Alliance for Analysis and Coaching) and the Marine Institute (MI) which offers alternatives for graduate and postgraduate college students of marine associated sciences to hitch analysis surveys on Irish Analysis Vessels. College students are supplied with mentored coaching on core MI surveys and the chance to  to develop expertise and acquire seagoing expertise working alongside skilled researchers and survey scientists. For extra info on TTRS surveys see: material/TTRS-2016

Day 1 – Tuesday 9 August, 2016.
The Nephrops underwater TV surveys happen yearly onboard RV Celtic Voyager. The aim of those surveys is to estimate Nephrops inventory measurement and calculate the suggested fishing quotas. The Nephrops survey differs barely from the everyday fisheries survey because it makes use of underwater video and is principally carried out within the dry lab. Underwater video sampling, provides a fishery impartial technique of monitoring the Nephrops populations. The survey takes place over three legs in the course of the summer time months. On this leg we can be overlaying the fishing grounds within the Celtic Sea together with the Smalls, Labadie and a number of other smaller fishing grounds alongside the South coast from Kenmare Bay to Helvick (Determine 1). As that is the ultimate leg of the survey for 2016, you will need to cowl as many stations as potential and get any remaining stations from earlier legs accomplished.

We mobilised in Cork Tuesday morning with a complete crew of 14 together with 6 scientists being led by Dr.Colm Lordan. We departed Cork harbour at roughly 15:00 and headed East in the direction of  Helvick Head, Co. Waterford. The climate is calm and dry creating the right situations for surveying at sea (Determine 2). Day 1 is a gradual day as we have now to steam for five hours to succeed in the primary station so the day is spent establishing whereas a few of the scientists go to “Burrow College”. Earlier than analysing the survey footage one should watch reference video footage in “Burrow College” to coach the attention to establish and depend Nephrops burrows successfully.

Determine 1. Nephrops fishing grounds in Eire’s EEZ (Marine Institute Irish Fisheries Investigations No. 26 2014)

Determine 2. Steaming out into the Celtic Sea on the Celtic Voyager

We arrive on station at 20:30. All scientific crew take part at this station to make sure everyone seems to be conscious of the right sampling technique. After this we can be divided into three groups of two.  Every group takes two 4 hour watches per day. On the station a sled is lowered to the seafloor utilizing an armoured fibre optic cable (Determine 3). The sled incorporates two cameras with accompanying lights and lasers, a sled positioning sensor and a CTD. When the sled settles on the underside the seabed is recorded for 10 minutes at simply lower than 1 knot to permit detailed evaluation of the burrows, Nephrops and every other vital organic options. The recorded footage is then reviewed later to confirm the burrow counts precisely and establish every other vital species. After the primary two websites had been accomplished it was time to chill out because it was a 6 hour steam south to the subsequent station within the Smalls.

Determine 3. Sled with digicam connected being hauled in.
Day 2 – Wednesday 8 August, 2016.
We now have arrived within the Smalls and the wind is barely more energizing at the moment however nonetheless with beneficial working situations. I’m on watch with Colm from 08:00 to 12:00. My major responsibility is knowledge administration whereas Colm works the winch to make sure the sled stays regular on the seafloor. That is essential to forestall clouds of sediment overlaying the display. As soon as we begin recording Colm counts the Nephrops burrows whereas I file the quantity of Nephrops seen, trawl marks and every other organic options (Determine 4). Nephrops burrows might be readily recognized by signature options together with crescent type entrance. Some burrows can have a number of entrances and these burrow programs can be in a linear or T-shaped formation. The quantity of Nephrops out and in of their burrows are counted to determine the very best time to trawl for floor truthing afterward within the survey (Determine 5).

Determine 4. Burrow programs in a linear formation.

Determine 5. Nephrops

On the ultimate station of our watch we discover a fault gentle on the video system and repairing this delays the survey by about two hours. There was at the least 5 sunfish sightings at the moment, two of which I noticed however was too gradual with the digicam as a result of they drift previous too quick! I work from 20:00 to 24:00 with Colm as effectively and tonights watch provides quiet poor visibility on the seabed however we did spot a shoal of herring on the backside out for his or her evening time feast.

Day 3 – Thursday 11 August, 2016
At this time’s schedule is identical as common. The ocean is a bit tough at the moment creating poor visibility at plenty of stations as a result of sled the digicam tends to shift round on the seabed in these situations. The sled positioning sensor can observe the digicam in relation to the ship and this can be utilized later in evaluation to establish the precise place of the digicam and the gap which has been surveyed (Determine 7). We end the Smalls at 23:00 after which it’s an 8 hour steam south to a calmer Labadie.

Determine 6– The observe of the sled positioning sensor.
Determine 7 – Michael and Marcin watching dwell footage.
Determine 8 – Sea pens (Virgilaria mirabilis)

Day 4 – 6; Friday 12 – Sunday 14 August, 2016
The weekend within the Labadie brings calm seas and blue skies. Between watches the crew are out on deck attempting to identify some marine life. The primary issues we spot are an abundance of goose barnacles floating on the floor. It takes us some time to determine what they’re; initially pondering it was a kind of algae. Goose barnacles are sessile organisms which have to connect to a substrate and we thought it was uncommon to see them on the ocean floor. There’s nice pleasure when a gannet flies on deck on Saturday and stays on the bow for a few hours wanting very misplaced (Determine 9) (Determine 10). It appears to not have sufficient area on the bow to take off so we instruct him to the strict of the boat the place he jumps into the water and flies off. The joy continues as Colm thinks he noticed a bluefin tuna breach the water and Paddy and Philip observe go well with claiming to see some extra however somebody on board could be very sceptical about this sighting. We additionally spot a leatherback turtle and dolphins within the distance.

Determine 9 – Gannet on deck

Determine 10– Sprattus sprattus on deck, presumably introduced by the gannet.
Determine 11 – Marcin having fun with the solar.

Determine 12 – Dolphins within the distance.

It’s not all enjoyable and video games over the weekend as everyone seems to be busy doing the recounts of the Smalls. Two individuals watch the identical recorded video footage independently to validate burrow counts. There’s additionally plenty of knowledge entry to be achieved as all knowledge should be run by means of R programming language  to make sure that the info is high quality assured earlier than going ashore. Because of the good climate situations the video footage could be very clear and it turns into simpler to identify fauna. There are some good muddy stations within the Labadie with loads of burrows and Nephrops. There’s additionally plenty of combined floor differing between mud, sand and course sand. On Sunday morning, the stations Colm and I cowl are characterised by small mounds of sand uniformly spaced and there’s little life to be seen. On the sandier floor there are many starfish and one explicit anemone which Mike is eager to establish. We each key it out to be Urcticina eques, a standard solitary anemone in European waters which attaches to empty bivalve shells on the seabed. There has additionally been a number of octopus noticed. Octopus are one of many few organisms to feed on prawns and we catch one crawling right into a burrow searching for meals. The CTD runs out of battery on Sunday however it’s simply restored and the stations within the Labadie are completed at lunch time Sunday. It’s now time to begin shifting inshore in the direction of the fishing grounds of Galley, Kenmare and Bantry Bay.

Determine 13 – Sundown on Saturday

Day 7 – Monday 15 August, 2016.
In a single day a number of stations between the Labadie and Bantry Bay are surveyed. We arrive in Bantry Bay at 8:00 and survey 4 stations, adopted by 2 stations in Kenmare Bay. We end recording the underwater video stations at 14:00 after which start an 18 hour steam again to the Smalls to hold out some beam trawls. We’re stored busy all through the steam with recounts, knowledge entry and a few whale recognizing. A whale is noticed within the distance from the bridge. As we steam we get a better take a look at the whale because it strikes to the floor, lifting its tail out of the water a number of occasions which is a definite attribute of the humpback whale (Determine 14). Dolphins have been bow driving for a lot of the day and after we look again on photos of the whale we discover three or 4 dolphins swimming beside it, presumably working collectively for meals. After dinner one other whale is noticed, this time a minke whale (Determine 15). After we go up on the deck we see this massive mammal breach the water a number of occasions earlier than swimming off into the gap.

Determine 14. Humpback whale 

Determine 15. Minke whale breaching the water
Determine 16. Delphinus delphinus

Day 8 and 9; Tuesday 16 – Wednesday 17, 2016.
10 stations have been chosen within the Smalls to revisit for trawling. We start trawling at 15:00 Tuesday and perform 5 trawls. A 3m beam trawl is lowered to the seabed for half-hour (Determine 17). After hauling the catch is separated by species, weighed and recorded. All Nephrops are sorted by intercourse and feminine maturity (Determine 18), weighed and measured utilizing electrical callipers (Determine 19). On Tuesday evening a shoal of herring is caught however that is despatched again instantly as it’s too biased (Determine 20) for analysis functions. Wednesday is the same schedule trawling an extra 5 stations.  On our remaining haul  a large vary of fish and benthic organisms are caught and recorded within the survey knowledge base (Figures 21-24). We end trawling at 22:00 and start to steam again to Cork the place we disembark on Thursday morning.

Determine 17. Paddy Kenny and Tommy Grealy pushing the beam trawl out.

Determine 18. Juvenile Nephrops

Determine 19. Measuring Nephrops

Determine 20. Herring shoal
Determine 21. Goneplax rhomboids. These are the enemy as their burrows might be mistaken as Nephrops burrows. The male has very distinct elongated claws whereas the feminine has a a lot shorter claw.
Determine 22. Sea slug,  Armina loveni
Determine 23. Sea mouse, Aphrodita aculeate
Determine 24. Widespread starfish (Asterias rubens) with one leg lacking.

I hope you loved studying this weblog and that I did justice to this sensible alternative of being on a survey that has been pioneered in Eire and is now a mannequin for scientists throughout Europe to review Nephrops assets. I wish to say thanks 1,000,000 to Colm Lordan and all of the scientists aboard for being so beneficiant with their time and experience. I really feel I’ve discovered a lot and being part of this survey has actually added to my growth as a marine scientist.
This survey was a incredible expertise for me and  I might additionally wish to  thank Philip Baugh and the good crew of the Celtic Voyager for welcoming me aboard and exhibiting me the ropes of life at sea.
Alternatives like this are priceless and I wish to say a particular due to  SMART for all their work in organising this incredible journey for me.

UWTV Scientists

  • Colm Lordan               Chief Scientist                                                                                          
  • Michael McAuliffe       Scientist                                                                                                 
  • Marcin Blaszkowsk       Scientist                                                                                                 
  • Seán O’Connor       Scientist
  • Jeanne Gallagher       Scientist
  • Denise O’Sullivan       Scientist TTRS

Celtic Voyager’s Ship’s Crew

  • Philip Baugh               Grasp
  • Adam O’Rahilly       First Mate
  • Brendan Barry               Chief Engineer
  • Tommy Byrne               Motorman
  • Tommy Grealy       Ready Seaman
  • Ollie Murphy               Prepare dinner
  • Paddy Kenny               Second Officer
  • David Guggisberg         Technician

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