University of Plymouth supervisory team
development of offshore aquaculture has the potential to provide the most
sustainable source of protein to feed our growing population. In 2013, the
University of Plymouth commenced a robust annual monitoring study of the UK’s 1st
large scale offshore mussel farm in Lyme Bay, south west UK. To date, the study
has been valuable in demonstrating the interactions of the farm with the
surrounding ecosystem, showing the potential to increase habitat value for the
benthos and mobile commercially valuable species. This project will build on the annual
monitoring with a particular focus on the oceanography and plankton.
The PhD student will be expected to undertake fieldwork using a range of fishing vessels and sometimes in challenging conditions. Therefore, experience of working at sea is essential. In addition to monitoring oceanographic variables such as temperature, salinity, oxygen, chlorophyll, cDOM, plankton will be seasonally collected and analysed with the support of the Continuous Plankton Recorder survey at the Marine Biological Association. Annual benthic impact surveys will adopt methods already developed at the farm including ROV, towed, baited, and midwater video and grabs. Potential topics for investigation will include:
of the mussel farm on oceanography and ecosystem processes and services
change of benthic and commercially targeted species
- Diversity of rope biodiversity and associated Fish Aggregation Device effects.