<br>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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  • The Stock Book 2017 : Annual Review of Fish Stocks in 2017 with Management Advice for 2018

    Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2017)
    The Stock Book is the principal annual publication of the Marine Institute's Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services (FEAS). Its purpose is to provide the latest impartial scientific advice on the commercially exploited fish stocks of interest to Ireland. The Stock Book is used by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine - (DAFM) at the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) negotiations with the EU in December and throughout the year at fisheries management meetings.
  • Explorers planning guide for primary school teachers: ocean literacy and engagement

    Dromgool-Regan, Cushla; Burke, Noirin; Allard, Brendan (Marine Institute, 2017)
    The Explorers Education Programme™ aims to build on Ireland’s marine and maritime heritage by increasing awareness of the value, opportunities and social benefits of our ocean wealth and identity. This ocean literacy and engagement guide provides ocean facts, evaluation tools and ideas for the classroom.
  • Aran, Galway Bay and Slyne Head Nephrops Grounds (FU17) 2017 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2018

    Lordan, C.; Doyle, J.; Butler, R.; Sugrue, S.; Allsop, C.; O'Connor, S.; Vacherot, J.P. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report provides the main results and findings of the fifteenth annual underwater television on the Aran, Galway Bay and Slyne head Nephrops grounds, ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 17. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, fishing, CTD and other ecosystem data. In 2017 a total of 40 UWTV stations were successfully completed, 31 on the Aran Grounds, 5 on Galway Bay and 4 on Slyne Head patches. The mean burrow density observed in 2017, adjusted for edge effect, was medium at 0.29 burrows/m². The final krigged burrow abundance estimate for the Aran Grounds was 343 million burrows with a CV (or relative standard error) of 3 %. The final abundance estimate for Galway Bay and Slyne Head was 25 and 11 million burrows with CVs of 7% and 3% respectively. The total abundance estimates have fluctuated considerably over the time series. The 2016 combined abundance estimate was 32% lower than in 2015 and at 379 million and is below the MSY Btrigger (540 million). Using the 2017 abundance estimate and updated stock data implies catch of 551 tonnes and landings of 513 tonnes in 2018 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2014–2016). Virgilaria mirabilis was the only sea-pen species observed on the UWTV footage. Trawl marks were present at 20% of the Aran stations surveyed.
  • Porcupine Bank Nephrops Grounds (FU16) 2017 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2018

    Lordan, C.; Doyle, J.; Butler, R.; Sugrue, S.; Allsop, C.; O’Connor, S.; Vacherot, J.P. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report provides the results of the fifth underwater television on the ‘Porcupine Bank Nephrops grounds’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 16. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, CTD and other ecosystem data. In total 63 UWTV stations were successfully completed in a randomised 6 nautical mile isometric grid covering the full spatial extent of the stock. The mean burrow density observed in 2017, adjusted for edge effect, was 0.12 burrows/m². The final krigged abundance estimate was 850 million burrows with a relative standard error of 5% and an estimated stock area of 7,134 km2. The 2017 abundance estimate was 11% lower than in 2016. Using the 2017 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch of 2,734 tonnes and landings of 2,734 tonnes in 2017 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that all catch is landed). The three species of sea-pen; Virgularia mirabilis, Funiculina quadrangularis and Pennatula phosphorea, were all observed during the survey. The deepwater sea-pen Kophobelemnon stelliferum was also observed and its presence/absence mapped from the available time-series. Trawl marks were also observed on 43% of the stations surveyed.
  • Western Irish Sea Nephrops Grounds (FU15) 2017 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2018

    Clements, A.; Doyle, J.; Lordan, C.; Lundy, M.; McCorriston, P.; McArdle, J.; McCausland, I.; Burns, G.; Schön, P.J. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report provides the main results and findings of the 15th annual underwater television survey on the ‘Irish sea west Nephrops grounds’ ICES assessment area, Functional Unit 15. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV and other ecosystem data. The 2017 design consisted of a randomised isometric grid of 100 stations at 4.5 nautical mile intervals out over the full known extent the stock. The resulting krigged burrow abundance estimate was 5.3 billion burrows. This was a similar result of that obtained in 2006, and 4% higher than the abundance in 2016. In contrast to 2016 the spatial distribution of burrows appears more homogenous across the survey area. Overall densities are high and abundance remains stable, well above MSY Btrigger. Reducing the number of stations compared to 2011 has not affected the accuracy of the survey estimate to date. The CV (or relative standard error) of 3% is in line with previous estimates and well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS 2012. Total catches and landings options at various different fishing mortalities were calculated and fishing at Fmsy in 2017 implies a total catch option at Fmsy (=Fmax) of 11,807 tonnes which results in landings of no more than 9,630 tonnes. The only sea-pen species observed in 2017 was Virgularia mirabilis and this was found at 16% of stations ranging from occasional to common, with high densities observed in the south-west of the ground. Trawl marks were noted at 36% of the UWTV stations.
  • FU19 Nephrops Grounds 2017 UWTV Survey and catch options for 2018

    Doyle, J.; Fitzgerald, R.; O’Brien, S.; Ryan, G.; McGeady, R.; Lordan, C. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report provides the main results of the eighth underwater television survey of the various Nephrops patches in Functional Unit 19. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, CTD, multi-beam and other ecosystem data. In 2017 a total 41 UWTV stations were successfully completed. The mean density estimates varied considerably across the different patches. The 2017 raised abundance estimate was a 25% increase from the 2016 estimate and at 499 million burrows is above the MSY Btrigger (430 million). Using the 2017 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch of 1,192 tonnes and landings of 889 tonnes in 2018 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2014–2016). Two species of sea pen were observed; Virgularia mirabilis and Pennatula phosphorea which have been observed on previous surveys of FU19. Trawl marks were observed at 10% of the stations surveyed.
  • The “Smalls” Nephrops Grounds (FU22) 2017 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2018

    O’Brien, S.; Blaszkowski, M.; Butler, R.; Fee, D.; Hernon, P.; Santana, C.; Lordan, C.; Doyle, J. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report provides the main results and findings of the twelfth annual underwater television survey on the ‘Smalls grounds’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 22. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, CTD and other ecosystem data. A total of 40 UWTV stations were surveyed successfully (good quality video footage) carried out over an isometric grid at 4.5nmi or 8.3km intervals. The precision, with a CV of 5%, was well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS 2012. The 2017 abundance estimate was 16% higher than in 2016 and at 1600 million is above the new MSY Btrigger (990 million). Using the 2017 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch of 4,332 tonnes and landings of 3,784 tonnes in 2018 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2014–2016). Only one species of sea-pen Virgilaria mirabilis was recorded as present at the stations surveyed. Trawl marks were observed at 59% of the stations surveyed. Ten beam trawl tows were carried out providing important data on the benthic communities and size structure of the Nephrops population.
  • The Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks Nephrops Grounds (FU2021) 2017 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2018

    Doyle, J.; Fitzgerald, R.; O’Brien, S.; Ryan, G.; McGeady, R.; Lordan, C. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report provides the main results of the 2017 underwater television survey on the ‘Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 20-21. This was the fourth survey to achieve full coverage of the full area. The 2017 survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, CTD and other ecosystem data. A total of 86 UWTV stations were completed at 6 nmi intervals over a randomised isometric grid design. The mean burrow density was 0.44 burrows/m2 compared with 0.18 burrows/m2 in 2016. The 2017 geostatistical abundance estimate was 4.4±0.01 billion a 236% increase on the abundance for 2016 with a CV of 4% which is well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS 2012. Highest densities were generally observed throughout the ground, and there were also high densities observed close to boundaries. Using the 2017 abundance estimate and updated stock data implies catch of 8,673 tonnes and landings of 6,553 tonnes in 2018 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2014–2016). One species of sea-pen were recorded as present at the stations surveyed Virgilaria mirabilis. Trawl marks were observed at 32% of the stations surveyed.
  • Newport Research Facility, Annual Report No. 60, 2015

    Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report represents a continuation of the Annual Reports published by the Salmon Research Agency of Ireland, now integrated them into the Fisheries Ecosystem Advisory Services Group (FEAS)of the Marine Institute. The data presented creates a unique record of fish rearing and wild fish census data for the past 44 years. This data is an essential component in the local, regional and national management of salmon, sea trout and eel and is becoming ever more valuable in the light of increasing pressures on natural stocks, such as exploitation, habitat degradation and global climate change scenarios. The fish monitoring facilities in Newport, along with the reared and ranched salmon stocks held in Burrishoole, are also essential for the evaluation of novel enhancement techniques, alternative stocks and ranching and evaluation of interactions between farmed, ranched and wild strains.
  • Gill disease in finfish aquaculture with emphasis on amoebic gill disease

    Downes, J.K. (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, 2017)
    Gill disease is one of the most significant challenges facing global salmon aquaculture and in terms of economic impact; amoebic gill disease (AGD) caused by the free living protozoan Neoparamoeba perurans is perhaps the most destructive. However, gill disease is often multifactorial, with numerous putative pathogens identified as potentially playing a role. AGD was first described in Irish aquaculture in 1995. Between the years 1995 and 2010, there were sporadic and relatively minor outbreaks of AGD. Since the re-emergence of the disease in 2011/2012, greater focus has been placed on gill health. This research aimed to investigate gill disease and in particular the re-emergence of AGD caused by N. perurans in Irish aquaculture. Through this it was hoped to provide the industry with the tools and information to help improve management of gill disease as well as fish health and welfare. With respect to this, Chapter 2 of this thesis details the effort to develop and validate a real-time TaqMan® PCR assay to detect Neoparamoeba perurans in Atlantic salmon gills. Furthermore, it describes the use of this assay to monitor disease progression on a marine Atlantic salmon farm in Ireland in conjunction with gross gill pathology and histopathology. As molecular diagnosis of AGD remains a high priority for much of the international salmon farming industry, Chapter 3 evaluates the suitability of currently available molecular assays in conjunction with the most appropriate non-destructive sampling methodology. In addition it compares this methodology with traditional screening methods of gill scoring and histopathology. Chapter 4 addresses the complex and multifactorial nature of gill disorders. Co-infections are common on farms and there is a lack of knowledge in relation to interactions and synergistic effects of these agents. The advances in molecular diagnostics have made it possible in Chapter 5 to identify N. perurans as the causative agent in the earliest AGD outbreaks. In addition to this, a number of other putative pathogens were also identified in these early cases of gill disease. Finally, Chapter 6 concludes the findings of this research and how they relate to the current knowledge of gill health and welfare.
  • Marine Functional Foods Research Initiative (NutraMara)

    Troy, D. J.; Tiwari, B. K.; Hayes, M.; Ross, P.; Stanton, C.; Johnson, M.; Stengel, D.; O’Doherty, J. V.; FitzGerald, R. J.; McSorley, E.; Kerry, J. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    NutraMara – Marine Functional Foods Research Initiative: The goal was to create new research capacity and build the capabilities required to maximise the potential of Ireland’s extensive marine bioresources. By supporting a strong interdisciplinary research team, capable of exploring marine animals and plants as a sustainable source of materials for use as functional ingredients and foods, the vision for NutraMara was to position Ireland to the fore in use of marine bioresources as health beneficial ingredients.
  • Western European Shelf Pelagic Accoustic Survey (WESPAS) 06 June - 21 July, 2017

    O’Donnell, C.; O’Malley, M.; Mullins, E.; Lynch, D.; Keogh, N.; O’Sullivan, C. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    The WESPAS survey program is the consolidation of two existing survey programs carried out by FEAS. The Malin Shelf herring acoustic survey has been carried out annually since 2008 and reports on the annual abundance of summer feeding aggregations of herring to the west of Scotland and to the north and west of Ireland from 54°N to 58°30’N. The boarfish survey was carried out from 2011 using a chartered fishing vessel and reports on the abundance of spawning aggregations of boarfish from 47°N to 57°N. In 2016 both surveys were combined and carried out onboard the RV Celtic Explorer over a 42 day period providing synoptic coverage of shelf waters from 47°N northwards to 58°30’N.
  • Explorers Ocean Literacy Knowledge Questionnaire for Teachers - Evaluating your knowledge about the Ocean

    Dromgool-Regan, Cushla; Burke, Noirin (Marine Institute, 2017)
    Explorers Ocean Literacy Knowledge Questionnaire for Teachers - Evaluating your knowledge about the Ocean
  • Annual Report 2016 (Irish version)

    Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2017)
  • Annual Report 2016

    Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2017)
  • Northwest Herring Acoustic Survey Report 24th June – 14th July, 2015

    Nolan, C.; Campbell, A.; O’Donnell, C.; Marrinan, M.; Parker, M. (Marine Institute, 2015)
    The northwest and west coast (ICES Divisions VIaS & VIIb, c) herring acoustic survey programme was first established in 1994. The summer 2015 survey represents the eight in the new time series (est. in 2008). The survey was coordinated through the ICES Working Group of International Pelagic Surveys (WGIPS). The Irish component was carried out to cover the statistical rectangles between 53°30’-58°30' N and 12°-5° W as laid out in the WGIPS report (ICES, 2014). For 2015 only Irish data on herring distribution, abundance and age have been used to provide a measure of the relative abundance of herring within the Malin shelf stock complex. Survey data on stock numbers at age are submitted to the ICES Herring Assessment Working Group (HAWG) and used in the annual stock assessment process. The northwest and west coast (ICES Divisions VIaS & VIIb) herring stock is composed of two spawning components, autumn and winter spawners. Spawning covers a large geographical area and extends over a 4-month period from late September through to late March (Molloy et al, 2000). Traditionally, fishing effort has been concentrated on spawning and pre-spawning aggregations. The autumn spawning component, which mostly occurs within VIIb and VIaS, feeds along the shelf break area to the west of the spawning grounds. The larger winter spawning component is found further north in VIa. In VIaS, summer distribution extends from close inshore to the shelf break. Components of the winter spawning fish are known to undertake northward feeding migration into VIaN before returning in the winter to spawn along the Irish coast.
  • 2016 microtag recovery report : report on the coded wire tag returns for 2016

    O'Maoileidigh, N.; Bond, N.; Dillane, M.; White, J. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report gives recapture details of microtagged salmon recovered during 2016 commercial fishing season including broodstock. The report includes 1 and 2 sea winter recoveries, that is those fish which were released and migrated in 2015 and 2014 respectively
  • National survey of sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis Kroyer and Caligus elongatus Nordmann) on fish farms in Ireland - 2016

    O'Donohoe, P.; Kane, F.; Kelly, S.; McDermott, T.; D'Arcy, J.; Casserly, J.; Nixon, P.; Jackson, D. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    Farmed stocks of Atlantic salmon in Ireland are inspected on 14 occasions throughout the year to monitor sea lice levels as part of a national programme.
  • Blue Whiting Acoustic Survey cruise report, March 19- April 11, 2017

    O'Donnell, C.; Johnston, G.; Mullins, E.; Keogh, N.; O'Callaghan, S. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    Acoustic surveys on blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou) spawning aggregations in the north east Atlantic have been carried out by the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) Norway since the early 1970s. The 2017 survey was part of an international collaborative survey using the vessels RV Celtic Explorer (Ireland), RV Tridens (Netherlands), FV Kings Bay (Norway) and the RV Magnus Heinason (Faroes). The total combined area coverage extended from the Faroe Islands in the north (62° N) to south of Ireland (51° N), with east -west extension from 1°-17° W. International survey participants meet shortly after the survey to present data and produce a combined relative abundance stock estimate and report. The combined survey report is presented annually at the WGIPS meeting held in January. The information presented here relates specifically to the Irish survey.
  • International Blue Whiting Spawning Stock Survey (IBWSS) Spring 2017

    Marine Institute; Wageningen Marine Research; Institute of Marine Research; PINRO; Faroe Marine Research Institute; Marine Scotland Marine Laboratory; Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut; Danish Institute for Fisheries Research; BirdWatch Ireland; Irish Whale and Dolphin Group; UCC; Working Group on International Pelagic Surveys; Working Group on Widely Distributed Stocks (Marine Institute, 2017)
    Coordination of the survey was initiated in the meeting of the Working Group on International Pelagic Surveys (WGIPS) and continued by correspondence until the start of the survey. During the survey effort was refined and adjusted by the coordinator based on real time observations. The survey design applied followed methods described in ICES Survey design Manual (2015) and allowed for a flexible transect design and comprehensive coverage of the spawning aggregations. Overall weather conditions were mixed with periods of poor and good weather. All vessels, with the exception of Kings Bay experienced some downtime due to conditions with the Faroes experiencing the most prolonged period of bad weather at the end of the survey period. The entire survey was undertaken within 20 days and below the 21 day target threshold. The bulk of the survey was temporally consistent with the exception of one transect in the southern Rockall Trough.

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