A research cruise in June 2015 will mark 40 years of annual, full depth, hydrographic observations in the Rockall Trough the deepest waters immediately to the West of Scotland. This section is called the Ellett Line and this case study will highlight cutting edge questions about the marine environment that can be addressed by the EEL scientific communities. It is hoped that new potential collaborations can be formed and a long term startegic vision for the future of the programme. Questions may include: What are the physical controls on the biology and chemsitry of the eastern subpolar North Atlantic? How are the relevant physical, biological and chemical parameters changing with time.
Nutrient distributions in the North Atlantic were a hot topic of discussion during the workshop, and one output from the workshop will be a publication led by Selmar Pacariz from the Faroe Marine Institute and University of Gothenburg. “Nutrient driven poleward expansion of the Northeast Atlantic mackerel stock – a new hypothesis”. More details on this soon!
The other major outcomes after the workshop are:
1) Kerry Howell has collaborated with Penny Holliday and Stefan Gary (all workshop attendees) to attach a camera on the bottom of the CTD to take pictures of the ocean bottom in search of sponges. This was successfully piloted during the summer 2015 EEL cruise and will be implemented fully during the summer 2016 EEL cruise.
2) Clare Embling is collaborating with Stefan Gary to bring a towed hydrophone to listen for cetaceans during this summer’s 2016 EEL cruise.
3) Connections made at the workshop are feeding a discussion about an NERC Large Grant proposal.
4) Stuart Cunningham and Stefan Gary submitted an EEL workshop-motivated Highlight Topic idea to NERC for review by the Strategic Programme Advisory Group.