MSc Aquatic Ecosystem Management


Field trip to Millport, October 2005

Purpose: Microbiological examination of the Isle of Cumbrae's waters and its offshore and littoral benthos. The practical exercise is marked following an oral presentation of the results. As a further written exercise students design water and wastewater treatment systems for the island. (Click here for the sampling results from the reservoirs)

Click on the thumbnails for a full-scale picture

Setting off on the research vessel Aora.
mission: to collect water samples and experience deep water sampling techniques

The beam trawl was used to collect surface fauna
The trawl was swung over the stern, then the net allowed to spread,
before being lowered to the bottom (about 30m deep)

After trawling for about 15 minutes, the trawl was winched up again,

then the cod-end was brought aboard
and opened up
to reveal the catch
This included anemones, sea urchins, starfish, brittle stars, edible crabs, velvet crabs, squat lobster, sea cucumber, scallop, cod, flounder, pipe-fish and gurnard
The plankton net was used to collect a plankton sample
The sample being poured into the jar
The island of Arran emerged from the mist, to reveal the craggy peak of Goat Fell
The summit of the island was visited to get an overview
Some people just had to get higher...
for a better look.
We stopped for a look at the reservoirs..
Millport's water supply once came from these reservoirs:
we sampled them to determine their bacterial and algal floras
Plankton samples were collected by throw net. Click here for the algal results from the reservoirs
The major part of the exercise involved sampling seawater, sediments and musssels at strategic
points around the island, and carrying out 'most probable number' tests
for coliforms, enterococci and Clostridium
Comparison with previous years' results (eg 2003) may allow a judgement on the efficacy of the new (£11M) sewerage system at Millport
While the micro tests were incubating,
Benthic infaunal samples collected at Kames beach,
(as tradition demands).
Processing requires a great deal of backbreaking sieving,
more so for some than others..
Meanwhile the slope of the beach was determined using the theodolite
Kames is clearly a recreational beach, even at the end of October
Presenting the results, the class
farewell, Millport

Click here for the Microbiology results