The Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura Marine Protected Area (LSSoJ MPA) covers a 741 km area on the west coast of Scotland and includes a complex bathymetric environment. It is characterised by steep-sided trench systems, reaching up to 290 m in depth.
The Movement Ecology of the Flapper Skate (MEFS) project started in 2018 and aimed to provide more advanced analysis of passive acoustic and archival data collected in 2016/2017, providing information on space use within the LSSoJ MPA and the level of connectivity of this site to other areas. As part of MEFS, a second acoustic array was deployed to provide longer term site monitoring.
This study investigated the fine-scale movements of flapper skate in different life-history categories (male, female, immature and mature individuals) within the LSSoJ MPA. Passive acoustic telemetry and archival (depth) data from the 2016/17 study were used to examine the movements of tagged individuals and the extent of residency around acoustic receivers. Capture-recapture data were
used to examine the evidence for site attachment over a longer timescale.