To Rockall and back

Deployment of Acoustic Receivers during the UN Decade of the Ocean cruise (Photo credit: Paul Stapleton)

This summer the COMPASS project joined a United Nations Decade of the Ocean cruise visiting the North Atlantic Shelf region, including Fangorn and Rockall Bank. The work was undertaken using the Marine Institute’s vessel the Celtic Explorer. It departed in July with scientific operations led by National University Ireland (Galway). The collaborative cruise plan for the trip was developed by COMPASS researchers (Adam Mellor & Denise Risch) and Prof Louise Allcock (Principle Investigator, NUIG) with COMPASS activity forming part of this multi-disciplinary cruise. Rhiannon Lamb, who is using COMPASS data for her MPhil on minke whale vocalisations from West Scotland, was on board the cruise for COMPASS to collect and deploy moorings. Rhiannon also deployed the towed hydrophone array which will provide data to identify presence of marine mammals that vocalise in the frequency range 0-24kHz, while simultaneously collecting ocean ambient noise data. Several marine mammal visual surveys were conducted too. The data from the research trip will provide valuable offshore data to assist with future management of the marine environment and its protected species.

Rhiannon Lamb undertaking visual surveys (Photo credit: Paul Stapleton)