The Marine Institute is the national agency responsible for Marine Research, Technology Development and Innovation (RTDI). We seek to assess and realise the economic potential of Ireland's 220 million acre marine resource; promote the sustainable development of marine industry through strategic funding programmes and essential scientific services; and safeguard our marine environment through research and environmental monitoring.

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  • Atlantic Herring in 6aS/7b, Industry Acoustic Survey Cruise Report

    O’Malley, M.; Smith, T.; Mullins, E. (Marine Institute, 2020)
    An acoustic survey of Atlantic herring Clupea harengus was conducted in ICES areas 6aS/7b in Dec 2019 using the research vessel RV Celtic Voyager and the fishing vessel MFV Ross Ard SO745. This survey is the fourth in a time series that is hoped will be developed into a long-term index of spawning/pre-spawning herring in 6aS/7b. The survey design is based on the predicted distribution of this winter spawning herring in this area. Poor weather negatively impacted the survey in 2019, resulting in fewer transect miles completed and fewer strata areas covered than planned. In total, approximately 600nmi of cruise track was completed using 96 transects. This resulted in a total area coverage of approximately 865 nmi², a significant reduction compared to recent years. Parallel transect spacing was set at 3.5nmi for the Donegal Bay strata. Tightly spaced zig-zag transects were used in a relatively small area in Lough Swilly. A Simrad ES-120 7CD (120 kHz) split-beam echosounder was used to collect acoustic raw data. The transducer was mounted on a towed body from the Celtic Voyager in Donegal Bay and was pole mounted from the Ross Ard in Lough Swilly. Very strong herring marks were evident in Lough Swilly in deepest part of the channel. The herring marks continued for many miles in the upper Swilly, an area where boats in the monitoring fishery had also concentrated effort. There were some herring marks in discreet areas around Drumanoo Head, Bruckless Bay and Inver Bay in the Donegal Bay Strata. Biological samples from the monitoring fishery of herring were used to augment the samples from the survey. Herring samples were taken from boats fishing in Lough Swilly and Inver Bay as close spatially and temporally as possible to the survey in these areas. Herring were dominated overall by 1- and 2-wr fish, (52% of the overall numbers) followed by relatively strong 3- and 5-wr cohorts. The total stock biomass (TSB) estimate of herring for the combined 6aS/7b area was 10,506 tonnes (Lough Swilly = 9,363 tonnes, Donegal Bay = 1,143 tonnes). This is considered to be a minimum estimate of herring in the 6aS/7b survey area at the time of the survey, and a significant decrease on the previous 3 years surveys. The reduction in the survey area completed as a consequence of the poor weather resulted in the survey not containing the stock in 2019. However, the overall CV estimate on biomass and abundance for the survey area completed is low (~0.13) in 2019. This is driven by the improved survey design in Lough Swilly, with reduced transect spacing and increased transect miles in this strata. The CV for the Donegal Bay strata is relatively high (0.51), this is mostly caused by the over-reliance on a few acoustic marks of herring in Bruckless and Inver Bays in particular and many transects with little or no herring marks. The survey in 2019 had to be altered due to weather, requiring a change in design and approach. However, the template of focusing on discreet areas was generally successful and may provide a template for future designs, particularly when reduced effort is necessary during poor weather or resource limits.
  • Scientific Investigations, 1909

    Holt, E. W. L.; Hillas, A. B. E.; Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland (Dublin, The Stationery Office, 1909)
    I. Report of a survey of trawling grounds on the coasts of Counties Down, Louth, Meath and Dublin. Part I, Record of fishing operations, by E. W. L. Holt, Plates I and II * II. Summary of reports relative to Eel Fry, 1909-10, by A. B. E. Hillas, B.A.
  • EMFF Offshore Reef Survey, Sensitive Ecosystem Assessment and ROV Exploration of Reef - SeaRover 2019 Cruise Report

    O'Sullivan, D.; Healy, L.; Leahy, Y. (Marine Institute, 2019)
    This report presents preliminary findings of the 2019 offshore reef survey over the Porcupine Seabight and adjacent areas. The survey is the final leg of an extensive three year project, beginning in 2017, that was coordinated and led by Ireland’s Marine Institute and INFOMAR (Integrated Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resource) and funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Marine Biodiversity Scheme and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
  • Newport Research Facility, Annual Report No. 63, 2018

    Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2019)
  • Celtic Sea Herring Acoustic Survey Cruise Report 2019, 09 - 29 October, 2019

    O'Donnell, C.; Mullins, E.; Lynch, D.; Lyons, K.; Connaughton, P.; Power, J. (Marine Institute, 2019)
    In the southwest of Ireland and the Celtic Sea (ICES Divisions VIIaS, g & j), herring are an important commercial species to the pelagic and polyvalent fleet. For a period in the 1970s and1980s, larval surveys were conducted for herring in this area. However, since 1989, acoustic surveys have been carried out, and currently are the only tuning indices available for this stock. In the Celtic Sea and VIIj, herring acoustic surveys have been carried out since 1989. Since 2004 the survey has been fixed in October and carried out onboard the RV Celtic Explorer. The geographical confines of the annual 21 day survey have been modified in recent years to include areas to the south of the main winter spawning grounds in an effort to identify the whereabouts of winter spawning fish before the annual inshore spawning migration. Spatial resolution of acoustic transects has been increased over the entire south coast survey area. The acoustic component of the survey has been further complemented since 2004 by detailed hydrographic, marine mammal and seabird surveys.
  • The Development of Alternative Fuel Infrastructure in Irish Ports; A Feasibility Study

    Lacey, L.; Brewster, P.; Fallen Bailey, D. (Irish Maritime Development Office, 2019)
    Transportation across the European Union is almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels. To help reduce this dependency and the associated harmful environmental effects, the EU Commission established an alternative fuels strategy. The strategy identified the lack of supporting infrastructure as a key obstacle to the uptake of alternative fuel technology. As a result, EU Directive 2014/94/EU was developed to address these issues and was published in November 2014. In the maritime sector, the directive obliges Member States to install shore-side electricity (SSE) for seagoing ships in the ports of the TEN-T Core Network1 . In addition, Member States must ensure that an appropriate number of liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuelling points are put in place at maritime ports to enable vessels using LNG to circulate throughout the TEN-T Network. These objectives are to be met by 31 December 2025, unless there is an absence of demand or the relevant costs are disproportionate to the benefits. Motivated by the EU directive, this report has two distinct aims. First, to conduct a feasibility study of SSE for seagoing ships in TEN-T Irish ports and secondly, to assess the market demand for LNG fuelling facilities in major Irish ports. To accomplish the report’s objectives, it is important to understand where best practice has occurred in terms of Alternative Fuel Infrastructure (AFI) deployment. The report examines the factors that determine locational or sectoral concentrations in the deployment of AFI, and discusses the applicability of these factors to the Irish context. The report reaches conclusions about the feasibility of the deployment of AFI in Irish ports.
  • The Irish Maritime Transport Economist Volume 16

    Irish Maritime Development Office (Irish Maritime Development Office, 2019)
  • Herring larval surveys in the Celtic Sea and division VIIj in 1983/1984

    Cullen, A.; Barnwall, E.; Grainger, R. J. (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, 1984)
    Surveys for herring larvae in the Celtic Sea were conducted for the sixth ~ successive season between October 1983 and February 1984. The modifications made to the survey grid in the previous season to take account of the amalgamation of the Celtic Sea and Division VIIj for assessment purposes and to ascertain if larvae drift into the Irish Sea were also adopted for the 1983/84 surveys. A drift of larvae towards the Irish Sea was apparent in 1983/84. The larval abundance index for 1983/84 based on a standard survey area was almost three times higher than any previous value. A continuous increase in larval indices since 1978/79 indicates a recovery of the spawning stock.
  • The age Distribution of the Herring Stocks around the Irish Coast during 1993

    Barnwall, E.; Molloy, J. (1994)
    The age distribution of stocks is usually considered as an indication of how healthy a stock may be. In general stocks which are lightly exploited will contain a much larger proportion of older fish than a stock which is heavily exploited. A stock which is heavily exploited will probably be dependent on one year class which will recruit to the fishery and which will immediately be subjected to fishing effort. Obviously in such a fishery failure of recruitment or poor recruitment will have drastic effect on the catches. Herrings can be aged accurately until are about 10 years old and generally recruit to the adult stocks during their third year. During this year, the majority of fish will spawn for the first time.
  • Fluctuations in the Stock of Herrings on the North Coast of Donegal

    Farran, G. (Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (ICES), 1930)
  • The Irish Pilchard Fishery

    Went, A. E. J. (Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 1946)
  • Donegal Bay Herring Investigations, 1967/68

    Bracken, J. J.; Phillips, D. (University College Dublin, 1968)
  • The Reproduction of Calanus finmarchicus off the South Coast of Ireland.

    Farran, G. (Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (ICES), 1927)
  • On the Size and Number of the Ova of Irish Herrings

    Farran, G. (Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (ICES), 1938)
  • Note on the Growth-Rate of Herrings in the Irish Sea

    Farran, G. (Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (ICES), 1928)
  • Towards a flexible Decision Support Tool for MSY-based Marine Protected Area design for skates and rays

    Dedman, Simon; Officer, Rick; Brophy, Deirdre; Clarke, Maurice; Reid, David G. (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2017)
    It is recommended that demersal elasmobranchs be managed using spatial proxies for Maximum Sustainable Yield. Here we combine escapement biomass—the percentage of the stock which must be retained each year to conserve it—with maps of predicted Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) of four ray species [cuckoo (Leucoraja naevus), thornback (Raja clavata), blonde (Raja brachyura), and spotted (Raja montagui)], created using Boosted Regression Tree modelling. We then use a Decision Support Tool to generate location and size options for Marine Protected Areas to protect these stocks, based on the priorities of the various stakeholders, notably the minimisation of fishing effort displacement. Variations of conservation/fishing priorities are simulated, as well as differential priorities for individual species, with a focus on protecting nursery grounds and spawning areas. Prioritizing high CPUE cells results in a smaller closed area that displaces the most fishing effort, whereas prioritizing low fishing effort results in a larger closed area that displaces the least fishing effort. The final result is a complete software package that produces maps of predicted species CPUE from limited survey data, and allows disparate stakeholders and policymakers to discuss management options within a mapping interface.
  • Human Health

    Bresnan, E.; Austin, C. B.; Campos, C. J. A.; Davidson, K.; Edwards, M.; Hall, A.; Lees, D.; McKinney, A.; Milligan, S.; Silke, J. (Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership, 2017)
    • Toxin producing phytoplankton, pathogenic vibrios (bacteria commonly found in low salinity water) and noroviruses all have the potential to impact human health. • The relationship between climate change and toxin producing phytoplankton is complex. Considerable unknowns remain about how climate change will impact this part of the plankton community and confidence in predicting these impacts in UK waters remains low. • A recent study in Scotland has shown short term weather events as well as wind mediated transport of offshore phytoplankton populations can influence the toxicity of coastal shellfish. This highlights the requirement for long term data sets to identify the impacts of climate change from shorter term seasonal and interannual variability. • Emerging evidence from peer-reviewed scientific studies has suggested that increasing seawater temperatures and extreme weather events such as heatwaves and extreme precipitation, drive the abundance of pathogenic vibrios in the environment. A recent spate of reported infections in Northern Europe underlines these observations. Climate warming in the region may therefore increase human infections.
  • On the Mesh of Herring Drift-Nets in Relation to the Condition Factor of the Fish

    Farran, G. (Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (ICES), 1936)
    It is well known to herring fishermen that, in order to get the best returns, the mesh of their nets must correspond to the size of the fish on the grounds, but that this correspondence must take into account of both the length and the weight or condition of the fish has not, I think, been clearly pointed out. I have tried in this paper to express in definite figures a relationship between the size of the mesh and the condition and length of the fish taken together.
  • The Herring Fishery in Éire, 1921 - 1941.

    Farran, G. (Department of Agriculture, 1944)
    In the following pages an attempt has been made to give a concise summary of the herring fishery in the years from 1921 to 1941, or approximately the period between the two European wars. The abnormal conditions in 1914-1918 were prolonged locally by abnormal transport and generally unsettled conditions until 1923 but, except for increased demand for herrings for export, higher prices and the absence of English and Scottish boats from our shores, the years 1940 and 1941 did not differ markedly from the preceding period.
  • Scientific Investigations, 1926

    Southern, R.; Gardiner, A. C.; Department of Fisheries (Dublin, The Stationery Office, 1926)
    I. Reports from the Limnological Laboratory. The Seasonal Distribution of the Crustacea of the Plankton in Lough Derg and the River Shannon by R. Southern, B.Sc., and A. C. Gardiner, M.A. Plates I—XV.

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