Marine Scotland blog

News from Marine Scotland

February 26, 2015
by Ruth Allen

Marine Analytical Unit monthly update – 25 February 2015

This week’s update from the Marine Analytical Unit has been published, featuring an article reporting on what plans for new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) need to consider social impacts alongside economic and environmental impacts.

Related Links

February 17, 2015
by Ruth Allen

National Marine Plan interactive (NMPi) reaches 500 layers

The number of data layers in our National Marine Plan interactive (NMPi) continues to grow and is now in excess of 500, representing a huge data resource for use by everyone.

New data layers continue to be added and amongst the recent layers are:

  • Scotland’s Marine Atlas (2011) Overall Assessment (as 4 layers)
  • A new section called ‘National Marine Plan – 2015’ has been added which displays all the maps in the national marine plan that was lodged in the Scottish Parliament in December 2014. The previous section, ‘Draft National Marine Plan – 2013’ remains so that an archive of the developing National Marine Plan can be accessed.
  • Proposals for  remaining Nature Conservation MPAs (December 2014)
  • New section on Climate Change ‘Carbon budgets and potential blue carbon stores’ with 3 layers
  • Human Population with 3 layers based on data from NRS and the 2011 Census
  • Various seabed geology layers
  • Digital Aerial Photography of Scotland from 2008-2013

Marine Scotland continues to work with SEPA, SNH, JNCC and MASTS to develop layers that will be relevant and valuable for marine planning. Marine Scotland is also working with Clyde and Shetland on suitable regional data layers.

Feedback on NMPI is always welcome and can be e-mailed to

February 17, 2015
by Lyndsay Cruickshank

Understanding the State of the Environment Conference

‘Understanding the State of the Environment’ Conference at John McIntyre Conference Centre Edinburgh University – Friday 13 March 2015  

Understanding the state of the environment around us is important to inform and influence a range of decisions and activities carried out by all sectors of our society. Reporting on the state of the environment identifies the challenges we face and what is being done to solve any problems. It provides an invaluable source of information for all those interested and involved in protecting and improving the quality of the environment we live in.

At the conference, we will consider the findings of the European environment – state and outlook 2015, published by the European Environment Agency on 4th March. The report will help us to understand the challenges facing Europe, and you can provide feedback at the event on how they should be tackled.

Closer to home, we will focus on Scotland’s state of the environment report – hearing from the Editorial Group about the process of producing a report that involved some of the country’s leading experts and its key findings.

Having access to data and information about the environment is essential to raise awareness, improve understanding, influence decisions and policy making, and change behaviours. Find out more about some of the exciting developments on the European LIFE+ funded Scotland’s Environment website and how the Scottish Environment Protection Agency has been working with a range of partners in developing a trusted gateway to information and data about Scotland’s environment.

Guest speakers

  • Paul McAleavey European Environment Agency
  • Cathy Maguire European Environment Agency

Don’t miss out. Book your place today.

Access to this event is by online registration only. The number of places will be limited so please REGISTER ONLINE now to avoid missing out.

For details about speakers, presentations and workshop topics download the programme.

Joining instructions will be emailed to you before the event.

There will be a live web stream of the morning session. If you are interested in receiving further details, go to the ONLINE REGISTRATION page.

Registration closes at 4pm on Friday 6 March 2015.

Event Queries: for further information about the event, please contact us

February 3, 2015
by Ruth Allen

Experts to look at ways of accelerating the approval of offshore energy projects

Marine Scotland Science is currently involved in a new project to accelerate and streamline the environmental requirements associated with consents for offshore wind, wave and tidal projects.

The RiCORE project, led by the Robert Gordon University (Scotland) and including teams from Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France and Scotland, has been awarded €1.4 million from the European Commission’s competitive Horizon 2020 programme to tackle one of the key barriers to the deployment of offshore energy – consenting and environmental impacts.

The project came out of an agreed desire to improve the way that small scale wave and tidal developments are consented and Dr. Ian Davies from Marine Scotland Science said:

“The aim is to develop risk profiles based on a number of environmental and technical factors such as the scale of the project, the type of device, whether or not it is an existing technology – and the environmental sensitivity of the marine environment. Developments with low risk profiles can potentially be fast tracked.”


January 21, 2015
by Lyndsay Cruickshank

MRV Alba na Mara: Survey 0115A update II

In the past week the west coast sea loch Nephrops TV survey being carried out in Loch Linnhe has been severely hampered by poor weather, resulting in reduced working days on a couple of occasions. The half landing in Oban was brought forward a day to Monday  12th January, optimising the potential for working on the 13th as the forecast looked more favourable for working that day. In addition one day was spent at anchor at Craignure, Mull due to the ongoing gales. The sea conditions prohibited working outside of Loch Linnhe and so habitat mapping, burrow abundance work and comparative trials between the  TV sledge and drop frame were carried out on the days where work could be undertaken. On Saturday 17th the weather turned very cold which resulted in a lot of snow and calm sea conditions, which has provided ideal opportunities to continue with the survey. Despite the difficulties the weather has created, the survey has been progressing well, meeting many of the objectives, gathering a great deal of data about the distribution of the sediment around the loch’s edge and allowed several trials of new equipment  to be undertaken.

MRV Alba na Mara: Survey 0115A Programme

MRV Alba na Mara: Survey 0115A update

January 21, 2015
by Lyndsay Cruickshank

ICES opens ASC Call for papers

Today, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) opens the Call for papers for its Annual Science Conference (ASC) 2015.

ICES Annual Science Conference(ASC), 21–25 September, Copenhagen, Denmark, is an exciting week-long forum that brings the international marine science community together to share innovative science with policymakers and stakeholders. Scientists, policy- and decision-makers, students, and stakeholders are invited to join the discussions on science for sustainable seas.

One of the important and unique features of ICES is its capability to cover the entire spectrum from monitoring to data provision to science and advice. The ASC reflects this range in the 20 theme sessions that will take place at this year’s conference.

Hypoxia, seafloor habitat mapping, basin-scale dynamics, ecosystem monitoring, science-industry partnerships, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), and sustainable approaches to aquaculture are among the topics that welcome abstract submissions.

“ICES relies on coordinated contributions from an international network. As we all work together on the implementation of our Strategic Plan, your participation at the conference is very important. The ICES network is open to all and the ASC represents a great opportunity to strengthen partnerships”, says Yvonne Walther, Chair of the Science Committee within ICES.

Paul Connolly, ICES President continues: “The ASC offers a perfect meeting place for scientists, presenting the latest state-of-the-art knowledge, and policy-managers and stakeholders, who are dependent on this scientific information in their daily work.”

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 30 April 2015.

To read more about ICES ASC 2015 and abstract submission, visit the ICES ASC website.

For further information, please contact:

Terhi Minkkinen, Communications Officer
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Tel. +45 33 38 67 16

January 21, 2015
by Ruth Allen

Vacancy: Sea Fisheries Programme Manager (Closes 17th February)

We are currently seeking applications for the Sea Fisheries Programme Manager within Marine Scotland Science based at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen.

Sea Fisheries is one of the cornerstones of Scottish life, heritage and coastal communities.  It is of primary interest to both Government (for which our data aids in international negotiations) and the many marine industries which utilise Scottish waters.  The delivery of a sustainable marine ecosystem, including viable fish stocks which can be used for human food, requires a strong evidence base.  We have an exciting opportunity for the Sea Fisheries Programme Manager, based at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen.

January 21, 2015
by Ruth Allen

Erin’s aiming for success in Birmingham

Erin Warner

Erin Warner

In September last year, we told you about Erin Warner from South Uist, who enjoyed a six week placement with Marine Scotland Science (MMS), through the Nuffield Science Bursary Programme.

We’re delighted to be able to share that Erin has been selected to represent Scotland at the Big Bang competition which will be held in Birmingham in March this year.

Good luck, Erin!

More links:



January 14, 2015
by Lyndsay Cruickshank

MRV Alba na Mara: Survey 0115A update

After sailing on 5 January from Fraserburgh, Alba na Mara spent a couple days steaming before anchoring in Bloody Bay on the north side of Mull in the South Minch. The TV survey then began working up the edges of Loch Linnhe using the Drop Frame to establish the extent of the muddy sediment suitable for Nephrops habitation,  with the nights spent at Oban or going to anchor at Craignure Bay, Mull depending on the weather conditions. However the survey has been severely hindered by extremely strong south westerly winds. Weather permitting the survey will continue in Loch Linnhe throughout the second week.