30 June 2006 – The following message has been received from Dr Richard Lampitt.
I am now at the PAP site on board Discovery and have to report the very bad news that all three of the upper ocean moorings have been destroyed by long line fishing. We have only recovered the lower portions of the moorings and even down to 2000m we found the remains of long lines with severe damage to the mooring line still remaining.
Until three years ago I had never come across a long line on the moorings and then it was only lightweight equipment and did not damage the mooring. The material we recovered yesterday was very much heavier and moorings in future will have to be much more robust to withstand them.
As a result of this and the likelihood it will happen again I have decided not to deploy the near surface moorings planned for this cruise. I shall be discussing how they may be strengthened on my return to Southampton on 9 July and ways in which they may be deployed this year.
We have all lost from this experience both in terms of science, time and hardware and I am sorry not to be able to bring you a few items of optimism. I hope we will recover the deep sediment trap mooring tomorrow unless of course the fishermen are working as deep as 3000m.
The available data were archived at the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) and can be accessed at: BODC PAP Collection, . (please use the search term Porcupine or #5192 to find our data) and temperature, salinity, conductivity and pressure data can be retrieved in user selected formats from the BODC ERDDAP service.