• Community of Arran Seabed Trust
  • Community of Arran Seabed Trust
  • Community of Arran Seabed Trust
  • Community of Arran Seabed Trust
  • Community of Arran Seabed Trust
  • Community of Arran Seabed Trust
  • Community of Arran Seabed Trust
  • Community of Arran Seabed Trust
  • Community of Arran Seabed Trust
  • Community of Arran Seabed Trust
  • Community of Arran Seabed Trust
  • Community of Arran Seabed Trust
  • Community of Arran Seabed Trust

2012 York Uni Marine Surveys

Lobster York postgrad researchers continued their extensive programme of research this summer which included a crustacean tagging survey for the first time.

 

A short film showing the team in action is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxXk4h8Y1oM and features some stunning underwater footage.

 

This summer saw our researchers from the University of York returning to Arran to conduct their third consecutive year of monitoring Lamlash Bay No-Take Zone. Leigh Howarth, the PhD Researcher in charge of the team, gives his account:


“This year was my third year on Arran and a most enjoyable one. Our team has grown every year and this time I was accompanied by two excellent students from the University of York who helped run the surveys, as well as local diver Angus Robson, SeaSearch diver Claire Youdale, and COAST chair Howard Wood who all volunteered substantial  amounts of their time.

The wind conditions were perfect, despite the rain, and overall there were very few setbacks. We also saw some unusual sights this year including a school of mackerel (very rare to see whilst diving), a school of herring, a school of poor cod, cuttlefish eggs, and I even got to dive with a seal! By far the greatest highlight though was spotting a fully adult cod within the No-Take Zone. In my three years on Arran I have never seen one larger than 15cm.”


Lowri Evans, a marine biologist and current Masters Student at the University of York, joined the research team this year to see how the ecological structure of Lamlash Bay has changed since the establishment of the No-Take Zone. She adds: “When I first arrived on Arran I was amazed by its beauty. I applied for the research position in order to improve my SCUBA diving skills and for the chance to work with COAST. At first, I found the diving surveys hard going but the excellent company kept me motivated.

 

I got involved with many of COAST’s outreach events over the summer and relished the opportunity to educate the public about marine life - an aspect of my previous job as an aquarist I dearly miss. The weeks flew by, and I improved day-by-day. I enjoyed working with a fantastic group of people, many of which were also truly inspirational. I learnt a lot from Howard Wood, Angus Robson and Leigh Howarth, who I owe a great thank you to. The results of my study so far seem promising – so please, watch this space!”


The extra hands and resources available to the team this year also meant they could focus their research on new, previously unexplored areas. Environment student Pascal Dubois, and local fisherman Charlie Weir, helped launch a new potting survey in which the team got to creel within the no-Take Zone legally for the first time since its establishment in 2008. Any lobsters and crabs caught during the surveys were measured, sexed, tagged with a unique number and then released back into the sea. That way the movements of these animals can be tracked over time and any differences in growth rates between the No-Take Zone and outside can be explored. A similar scallop tagging survey was also launched this year.

 

A short film showing the team in action is available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxXk4h8Y1oM and features some stunning underwater footage.

Research

COAST Research