No. 14A: CEND19x12: Cruise report for Braemar Pockmarks cSAC, Scanner Pockmark cSAC and Turbot Bank NCMPA proposal
(014A - 2017)
Ware, S.
The surveys were carried out during 17th November – 1st December 2012 on the RV Cefas Endeavour. The survey team for the duration of the fieldwork included staff from JNCC, Cefas and NetSurvey.

Abstract

 

This cruise report summarises operations and initial observations made on board the RV Cefas Endeavour during the cruise CEND19x/12 on behalf of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).  The survey took place between 17th November and 1st December 2012.

The primary aims of the survey were to gather evidence from three areas: Braemar Pockmarks Site of Community Importance (SCI), Scanner Pockmark SCI and Turbot Bank Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area (NCMPA) proposal, identified through the Scottish MPA project.

The Braemar pockmarks are a series of crater-like depressions on the sea floor, two of which contain the Annex I habitat “Submarine structures made by leaking gases”.  In this location, large blocks, pavements, slabs and smaller fragments of Methane Derived Authigenic Carbonate (MDAC) have been deposited through a process of precipitation during the oxidation of methane gas.  The survey at Braemar Pockmarks SCI consisted of a full coverage acoustic survey (employing multibeam echosounder (MBES) and sidescan sonar) and directed groundtruthing (using drop-camera and grabbing techniques) based on the processed acoustic data.  The planned survey for this SCI was successfully completed before moving onto the second survey area at the Scanner Pockmark SCI.

Scanner pockmark is a large seabed depression in the northern North Sea which contains large blocks of the Annex I habitat “Submarine structures made by leaking gases”.  The blocks are reported to lie in the base of the pockmark and support fauna more typically associated with rocky reef.  The survey at Scanner Pockmark SCI consisted of a full coverage acoustic survey (employing MBES and sidescan sonar) and directed groundtruthing (using drop-camera and grabbing techniques) based on the processed acoustic data.  The planned survey for this SCI was successfully completed before moving onto the third and final survey area at the Turbot Bank Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area (NCMPA) proposal.

Turbot Bank has been proposed as a Scottish Nature Conservation MPA primarily for the protection of sandeels.  This area has also been selected as a ‘science-based alternative’ for the search features ‘shelf banks and mounds’ and ‘offshore subtidal sands and gravels’ present in the ‘Firth of Forth Banks Complex proposed NCMPA’ (JNCC 2012).  The survey at the Turbot Bank NCMPA proposal comprised a combination of groundtruthing (using drop-camera and grabbing techniques) informed using existing MBES data (collected under the Civil Hydrography Programme) and additional acoustic data collection and groundtruthing in the eastern portion of the proposal where CHP data does not exist.  All planned survey work at Turbot Bank NCMPA was successfully completed.

 
 
Available free from JNCC
ISSN 2051-6711
 
Please cite as: Ware, S., (014A - 2017), No. 14A: CEND19x12: Cruise report for Braemar Pockmarks cSAC, Scanner Pockmark cSAC and Turbot Bank NCMPA proposal, ISSN 2051-6711