Marine Institute Open Access Repository
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The Marine Institute Open Access Repository facilitates full text access to the publications of the Marine Institute in accordance with copyright permissions. The aim of the Repository is to collect, preserve and provide open access to the publications of the Marine Institute, including the research publications supported by National and European funded marine research programmes.
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International Blue Whiting Spawning Stock Survey (IBWSS) Spring 2022Coordination of the survey was initiated at the meeting of the Working Group on International Pelagic Surveys (WGIPS) in January 2022 and continued by correspondence until the start of the survey. During the survey, effort was refined and adjusted by the survey coordinator (Norway) using real time observations. Survey design was based on methods described in ICES Manual for International Pelagic Surveys (ICES, 2015). Overall, weather conditions were exceptional compared to 2021, with calm seas prevailing, providing optimal conditions for acoustic recordings. The entire survey was completed in 15 days, well below 21-day target threshold (Figure 4). Area coverage was considered comprehensive in both core and peripheral areas, with all vessels completing the planned routes, with the exception of the RV Celtic Explorer (Ireland) which returned to port 8 days early.
Fish Health Unit Report of Activities Undertaken in 2021This report summarises the activities undertaken by the Fish Health Unit (FHU) of the Marine Institute (MI) in 2021. The services of the FHU, undertaken on behalf of the State, are largely driven by European legislation on aquatic animal health. New EU Animal Health Law came into force from April 21st 2021. Regulation (EU) 2016/429 lays down the rules for the prevention and control of animal diseases which are transmissible to animal or humans and has replaced the regulatory framework provided by Directive 2006/88/EC. The MI is the Competent Authority (CA) responsible for implementation of aquatic animal health regulation in Ireland.
Shellfish Stocks and Fisheries Review 2021: an assessment of selected stocksThis review presents information on the status of selected shellfish stocks in Ireland. In addition, data on the fleet and landings of shellfish species (excluding Nephrops and mussels) are presented. The intention of this annual review is to present stock assessment and management advice for shellfisheries that may be subject to new management proposals or where scientific advice is required in relation to assessing the environmental impact of shellfish fisheries especially in areas designated under European Directives. The review reflects the recent work of the Marine Institute (MI) in the biological assessment of shellfish fisheries and their interaction with the environment. The information and advice presented here for shellfish is complementary to that presented in the MI Stock Book on demersal and pelagic fisheries. Separate treatment of shellfish is warranted as their biology and distribution, the assessment methods that can be applied to them and the system under which they are managed, all differ substantially to demersal and pelagic stocks. Shellfish stocks are not generally assessed by The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and although they come under the competency of the Common Fisheries Policy they are generally not regulated by EU TAC and in the main, other than crab and scallop, are distributed inside the national 12 nm fisheries limit. Management of these fisheries is within the competency of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM). A co-operative management framework introduced by the Governing Department and BIM in 2005 (Anon 2005), and under which a number of fishery management plans were developed, was, in 2014, replaced by the National and Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums (NIFF, RIFFs). These bodies are consultative forums, the members of which are representative of the inshore fisheries sector and other stakeholder groups. The National forum (NIFF) provides a structure with which each of the regional forums can interact with each other and with the Marine Agencies, DAFM and the Minister. Management of oyster fisheries is the responsibility of The Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, implemented through Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI). In many cases, however, management responsibility for oysters is devolved through Fishery Orders or Aquaculture licences to local co-operatives. The main customers for this review are DAFM, RIFFs, NIFF and other Departments and Authorities listed above.
Atlantic Herring in 6aS/7b, Industry Acoustic Survey Cruise Report, December 2021 and January 2022An acoustic survey of Atlantic herring Clupea harengus was conducted in ICES areas 6aS/7b in December 2021 and January 2022. The 2021 survey was conducted using five vessels; MFVs Crystal Dawn WD201, Ros Ard SO745, Girl Kate SO427, K-Mar-K SO695 and Rachel D SO976. The 6aS/7b survey design in 2021 focused on 6 core areas with prior knowledge of herring distribution from the monitoring fishery were targeted for surveying. The change in survey design since 2020 was largely based on the results from ICES WKHASS (ICES 2020) and from lessons learned in the previous surveys in this area from 2016-2019. This design resulted in a much reduced survey area compared to previous years, but with better coverage of most of the important inshore bays where the monitoring fishery takes place. The survey design objective remained the same; to capture the distribution of winter spawning herring in the 6aS/7b area, but this design was not expected to achieve overall stock containment. The timing of surveys in the core areas was flexible from the outset by design. The greater flexibility allows for a targeted spatial and temporal approach which avoided the inevitable poor weather that can happen in this area during this time of the year and which lead to reduced survey effort in some previous years. Using smaller vessels allowed surveys to be conducted in shallow inshore areas where herring are known to aggregate during this time of the year. This survey is the sixth consecutive annual acoustic survey for pre-spawning herring in this area at this time of the year. A pole-mounted system with a combi 38 kHz (split) 200 kHz (single) transducer was used successfully for the survey on small vessels (<18m) in 2021. Herring were again distributed inshore in shallow areas, and the improved survey design and use of small vessels for the survey resulted in a good measure of uncertainty (CV =0.23). The stock was not overall contained in 2021, particularly in the Donegal Bay area (Malin Beg, etc.) and more effort is required to target surveys earlier and later than December and January when herring tend to show up in these areas in difficult to predict patterns. Very strong herring marks were evident in Lough Foyle and Lough Swilly in the channel in marks that extended for many miles in some cases. This was in areas where smaller boats in the fishery were concentrating effort. Herring had left the Swilly by mid-December and the Foyle by mid-January. There was also a series of strong herring marks in Bruckless Bay, Fintra Bay (SE of Inishduff) and Inver Bay in discreet areas. The monitoring fishery was being conducted on smaller boats in the same areas and close to the same time as the survey and biological samples from some of these vessels were used. There was a fairly tight distribution of length classes in all hauls, with most hauls dominated by larger (> 22 cm) mature fish. The 2- and 3-wr age class of herring accounted for 74% of the overall numbers in 2021. The total stock biomass (TSB) estimate of 35,944 tonnes is considered to be a minimum estimate of herring in the 6aS/7b survey area at the time of the survey. The flexible survey design and focusing on discreet areas was generally successful and is providing a good template for future survey designs.