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Half landing ahoy! A chance to refuel and stretch those sea legs...Blog #5

By Jess Taylor

1218SFaroe-Shetland Sponge Belt NCMPAWyville Thomson Ridge SACOffshore Seabed SurveysRosemary Bank Seamount NCMPA

Since the last blog post the team here have been squirreling away, successfully collecting video data from all of the planned stations at Rosemary Bank Seamount and starting to collect still photos and video from Wyville Thomson Ridge. The weather has delayed us a little on this goal but we are back on track, and steaming ahead aiming to collect as much data as we possibly can before we come in to the half landing at Ullapool. 

Fish assemblage from 1200m depth from the North side of Wyville Thomson Ridge in the Faroe-Shetland Channel

Fish assemblage from 1200m depth from the North side of Wyville Thomson Ridge in the Faroe-Shetland Channel

The half landing is anticipated by everyone by this point as stocks of chocolate bars and packs of crisps run dangerously low! Additionally, at the half landing we will be bidding farewell to our MSS and JNCC colleagues bar myself and welcoming 6 new JNCC staff to the ship. With the promise of a replenishment of the sweets and biscuits, and a chance to stretch our legs on a little less wobbly a footing, it is safe to say that everyone is looking forward to those 24 hours on dry land.

All systems go on board the MRV Scotia

All systems go on board the MRV Scotia

After the half landing it will be a race against the clock with only 8 days left on the survey to try and gather as much data as possible from the 2 sites we plan to revisit, Wyville Thomson Ridge and Faroe Shetland Sponge Belt. The drop-frame camera system is the technology of choice for finding out all we can about the animals that live in these 2 protected areas and catching a glimpse into the world they inhabit. If the chariot footage is any indication, the staff joining Scotia are in for a real treat, the amazing footage we have already seen shows the fantastic diversity of the marine life and habitats within these 2 sites.

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