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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  • Explorers Wild about Wildlife on the Seashore Shellfish, Crustaceans and Fish Information sheets

    Dromgool-Regan, Cushla; Manning, Eimear (Marine Institute, 2021)
    In Ireland we are surrounded by so many different types of beaches ranging from sandy to shingle shores, as well as mudflats to rocky shore lines. This makes it an extremely exciting place to explore all of the amazing animals, seaweeds, plants and creatures that live there. The Explorers Wild about Wildlife on the Seashore information sheets can be used in the classroom to help teachers and children with their scientific discovery, learning more about the animals found on the Irish seashore.
  • The Real Map of Ireland

    INFOMAR (Marine Institute, 2019)
    Ireland’s marine territory extends far beyond our coastline up to 220 million acres (approx. 880,000km2), an area more than 10 times our land mass. The 'Real Map of Ireland' was developed using seabed information gathered as part of a major programme to map Ireland’s entire seabed territory. The programme began in 1999 as the Irish National Seabed Survey and continues today as INFOMAR*, a joint venture by the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute. It’s one of the largest seabed mapping programmes in the world. The Real Map of Ireland shows Ireland's current designated Irish Continental Shelf, which is one of the largest seabed territories in Europe. The continental shelf is the extension of a State's territorial waters, where the natural land extends under the sea to the outer edge of the continental margin beyond 200 nautical miles from the coastline baseline. We have sovereign rights over the continental shelf to explore and develop its natural resources, according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Part VI.
  • Newport Research Facility, Annual Report No. 64, 2019

    Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2020)
  • CE20_02 INFOMAR Survey Report

    Sheehan, Kevin; INFOMAR Survey Team (Marine Institute, 2021)
    The Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and Marine Institute (MI) conducted seabed mapping between 2003 and 2005 under the auspices of the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and from 2006 to present day under the INtegrated mapping FOr the sustainable development of Irelands MArine Resource (INFOMAR) programme. INFOMAR is a joint venture between the GSI and the MI. The programme succeeded the INSS which was one of the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken, with a focus on deep water mapping. INFOMAR is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC). INFOMAR Phase 1, 2006 to 2015 focused on mapping 26 priority bays and 3 priority areas around Ireland and creating a range of integrated mapping products of the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed in those areas.
  • INFOMAR Survey Report CE20_01, Celtic Sea.

    Sheehan, Kevin (Marine Institute, 2021)
    The Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and Marine Institute (MI) conducted seabed mapping between 2003 and 2005 under the auspices of the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and from 2006 to present day under the INtegrated mapping FOr the sustainable development of Irelands MArine Resource (INFOMAR) programme. INFOMAR is a joint venture between the GSI and the MI. The programme succeeded the INSS which was one of the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken, with a focus on deep water mapping. INFOMAR is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC). INFOMAR Phase 1, 2006 to 2015 focused on mapping 26 priority bays and 3 priority areas around Ireland and creating a range of integrated mapping products of the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed in those areas. INFOMAR Phase 2, 2016 to 2026 intends to map the remainder of Ireland’s entire seabed. Figure 1 shows the extent of the mapped area under INSS and INFOMAR and the outstanding areas as of January 2020. Grey have already been mapped, blue and coloured hatched areas are unmapped.
  • INFOMAR Survey Report CE19_01, Celtic Sea.

    Sheehan, Kevin; INFOMAR Survey Team (Marine Institute, 2020)
    The Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and Marine Institute (MI) conducted seabed mapping between 2003 and 2005 under the auspices of the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and from 2006 to present day under the INtegrated mapping FOr the sustainable development of Irelands MArine Resource (INFOMAR) programme. INFOMAR is a joint venture between the GSI and the MI. The programme succeeded the INSS which was one of the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken, with a focus on deep water mapping. INFOMAR is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE). INFOMAR Phase 1, 2006 to 2015 focused on mapping 26 priority bays and 3 priority areas around Ireland and creating a range of integrated mapping products of the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed in those areas. INFOMAR Phase 2, 2016 to 2026 intends to map the remainder of Ireland’s entire seabed. Figure 1 shows the extent of the mapped area under INSS and INFOMAR and the outstanding areas as of January 2019. Grey have already been mapped, blue and coloured hatched areas are unmapped.
  • Status of non-assessed fish species in Irish waters

    Palma-Pedraza, S.; Sarrazin, V.; Clarke, M.; Stokes, D. (Marine Institute, 2020)
    This report gives the latest assessment results for abundance of several fish species not otherwise assessed by international bodies or national agencies within Ireland. The assess-ment was performed to support Ireland’s obligations under the EU’s Marine Strategy Frame-work Directive (MSFD) to assess the state of commercial and non-commercial fish stocks. The commercially important stocks included in this assessment are recorded as being caught in Irish MSFD waters, from ICES FISHSTAT database, and for which sufficient trawl survey data are available to assess them. The non-commercial fish species included in this assess-ment are those present in the Irish MSFD area, which are either listed as being of conserva-tion concern under the EU’s data collection programme for fisheries, those on the OSPAR list of threatened species, elasmobranch species prohibited from being caught in commercial fisheries under the EU CFP legislation and/or those listed as endangered with extinction on the EU fish red list. The evaluation of the status of commercial and non-commercial species in the subareas VI and VII of FAO fishing area 27 was carried out using data from research vessels surveys. Data since 1998 were used and results show that only 4 of 10 commercial stocks were above the Good Environmental Status (GES) threshold value. The results of this work were then used to populate an overall assessment of GES for MSFD Descriptors D1 and D3 by Ireland in 2019.
  • Science Communication: Stakeholder perceptions of Real-time Incentive Fisheries Management

    Pedreschi, D.; Vigier, A.; Höffle, H.; Kraak, S.B.M.; Reid, D.G. (Marine Institute, 2021)
    In these changing times, with political and environmental uncertainty surrounding us, fisheries management needs to become more adaptive in order to respond to the changes in our natural environment and changing management frameworks. Based on close to real-time information updates, and harnessing modern technology, Real-Time Incentive (RTI) fisheries management is designed to evolve with the fish stocks, enabling managers to respond more quickly and efficiently to management issues as they arise. Through the use of a credit system that makes use of regularly updated fine-scale information, incentives can be incorporated as rewards to encourage desirable actions such as data collection or ‘fishing-for-litter’ activities. However, in order for a new system such as this to be useful and become accepted, stakeholders must be involved in the development and design process. This paper details the consultative process carried out with Irish demersal fishery stakeholders in an effort to identify their likes and dislikes of the system, and work towards tailoring the RTI system into a practical solution that works for them. In this process, we achieved a detailed understanding of the fishery, the complexity of the system, and the challenges faced by the stakeholders, all of which must be considered when attempting to implement a new management system such as RTI. A range of proposals were made by stakeholders, including new ideas for the future development of the RTI system. Most striking were the numerous ideas and approaches to tackling key issues currently facing the industry, many of which also have relevance to existing fisheries management. Given the freedom and support to do so, fishing industry stakeholders are eager to contribute to solving many of their own problems.
  • Marine Foresight Study

    APBmer; MacCabe Durney Barnes (Marine Institute, 2020-09)
    Ireland is experiencing a period of major change in terms of the legal and policy framework for marine decision-making, the political and socio-economic context for marine activities, the influence of technological change on marine activities and resultant societal impacts. Furthermore, increased awareness of the marine environment by the general public, owed to increased education and increased access to resources, as envisaged by the previous Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth (HOOW), continues to provide increased engagement with marine issues. Ireland is beginning the process of developing a successor to HOOW, and this foresight study seeks to support that process. The study has reviewed existing information, both in relation to past and current trends and potential future changes, in seeking to identify the key drivers of change across social, technological, economic, environmental and political topics. The results of the study are captured in an Evidence Database and summary report.
  • Joined up Thinking from Joined up Data.

    Currie, D.; Gault., J. (Marine Institute, 2020)
    The primary aim of this project was to develop and implement a strategy which would integrate and enable data interrogation across all data sources used by the Marine Institute's Fisheries Ecosystem Advisory Services (FEAS) group.
  • Celtic Sea Herring Acoustic Survey Cruise Report 2020, 04 - 24 October, 2020

    O’Donnell, C.; Mullins, E.; Lyons, K.; Connaughton, P.; Perez Tadeo, M. (Marine Institute, 2020)
    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.
  • Proceedings of the 11th Shellfish Safety Workshop

    Clarke, D.; Gilmartin, M. (Marine Institute, 2020)
    The interest in the biotoxin and micro shellfish safety monitoring programme and research activities from members of the industry and other agencies is vital to ensure that the scientists and regulators are mutually aware of relevant current and emerging issues .
  • Industry-Led Awards 2018, Floating Solar Hybrid Energy Project

    Howlin, E. (Marine Institute, 2020)
    SolarMarine Energy Ltd (SME) applied under the Marine Institute’s Industry-Led Awards Call 2018 and was awarded grant-aid funding to research the design of a floating solar energy (FSPV) structure and evaluate how hydrogen could be produced using power from the floating solar plant. This was essentially a ‘Power to Gas’ (PtG) project model where we designed a floating solar plant, specified the H2 electrolyser and designed the interface between the two. Our engineers’ extensive experience across the marine industry from the initial design stage to final installation enabled us to take on this challenging marine renewable energy project. We believe that a floating solar/wind/hydrogen hybrid energy plant has the potential to be a disruptive innovative technology as it leverages the technical advantages of photovoltaics and energy storage without the environmental and cost disadvantages of competitor technologies.
  • Summary Report on 2019 Residue Monitoring of Irish Farmed Fish & 2019 Border Inspection Post Fishery Product Testing undertaken at the Marine Institute

    Glynn, D.; McGovern, E.; Farragher, E.; Kelly, Corrine; Moffat, R.; Toomey, M. (Marine Institute, 2020)
    On behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM), the Marine Institute carries out monitoring of chemical residues in finfish for aquaculture sector. This monitoring is set out in the annual National Residue Control Plan, which is approved by the European Commission, and is an important component of the DAFM food safety controls and is implemented under a service contract with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Since 1999, the Marine Institute has implemented the National Residues Monitoring Programme for aquaculture. This is carried out on behalf of the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, which is the responsible organisation for residue controls on farmed finfish. In 2019, in excess of 912 tests and a total of 2,601 measurements were carried out on 176 samples of farmed finfish for a range of residues. Implementation of the Aquaculture 2019 Plan involves taking samples at both farm and processing plant: *118 target samples taken at harvest: 105 farmed salmon and 13 freshwater trout. * 58 target samples were taken at other stages of production: 50 salmon smolts and 8 freshwater trout. All 2019 samples were compliant. For target sampling of farmed fish, a summary table of the residue results from 2005 - 2019 is outlined in Table 1. Overall, the outcome for aquaculture remains one of consistently low occurrence of residues in farmed finfish, with no non-compliant target residues results for the period 2006-2014, 0.11% and 0.10% non-compliant target residues results in 2015 and 2016 respectively and no non-compliant target results for the period 2017 to 2019.
  • The Stock Book 2020: Annual Review of Fish Stocks in 2020 with Management Advice for 2021

    Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2020)
    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.
  • Western European Shelf Pelagic Acoustic Survey (WESPAS), 03 June – 12 July, 2020

    O'Donnell, Ciaran; O’Malley, M.; Smith, T.; O’Brien, S.; Mullins, E.; Connaughton, P.; Perez Tadeo, M.; Barile, C. (Marine Institute, 2020)
    The WESPAS survey program is the consolidation of two existing survey programs carried out by FEAS, the Malin Shelf herring acoustic survey, and the boarfish acoustic survey. 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 the north and west of Ireland from 54°N to 58°30’N. The boarfish survey was conducted from 2011 using a chartered fishing vessel and reported the abundance of spawning aggregations of boarfish from 47°N to 57°N. In 2016 both surveys were combined into the WESPAS survey and have been carried out onboard the RV Celtic Explorer over a 42-day period, providing synoptic coverage of shelf waters from 47°30’N northwards to 58°30’N. Age stratified relative stock abundance estimates of boarfish, herring and horse mackerel within the survey area were calculated using acoustic data and biological data from trawl sampling. Stock estimates of boarfish and horse mackerel were submitted to the ICES assessment Working Group for Widely Distributed Stocks (WGWIDE) meeting in August 2020. Herring estimates are submitted to the Herring Assessment Working Group (HAWG) meeting in March every year. Survey performance will be reviewed at the ICES Planning Group meeting for International Pelagic Surveys (WGIPS) meeting in January 2021.
  • The “Smalls” Nephrops Grounds (FU22) 2020 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2021

    Aristegui, M.; Blaszkowski, M.; Doyle, J.; Ryan, G.; McAuliffe, M (Marine Institute, 2020)
    This report provides the main results and findings of the fifteenth annual underwater television survey on the ‘Smalls grounds’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 22. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV and other ecosystem data. A total of 40 UWTV stations were surveyed successfully (high quality image data), carried out over an isometric grid at 4.5nmi or 8.3km intervals. The precision, with a CV of 8%, was well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS (ICES, 2012). The 2020 abundance estimate was 33% lower than in 2019 and at 750 million is below the MSY Btrigger reference point (990 million). Using the 2020 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch in 2021 that correspond to the F ranges in the EU multi annual plan for Western Waters are between 1238 and 1560 tonnes (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2017–2019). One species of sea pens was recorded as present at the stations surveyed: Virgularia mirabilis. Trawl marks were observed at 48% of the stations surveyed.
  • The Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks Nephrops Grounds (FU2021) 2020 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2021.

    Aristegui, M.; Tully, D.; Blaszkowski, M.; Doyle, J.; Fee, D.; O'Connor, S.; White, J. (Marine Institute, 2020)
    This report provides the main results of the 2020 underwater television survey on the ‘Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 2021. The 2020 survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, and other ecosystem data. A total of 97 UWTV stations were completed at 6nm intervals over a randomised isometric grid design. The mean burrow density was 0.102 burrows/m2 compared with 0.06 burrows/m2 in 2019. The 2020 geostatistical abundance estimate was 1020 million, a 65% increase on the abundance from 2019, with a CV of 5%, which is well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS 2012. Low to medium densities were observed throughout the ground. Using the 2020 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch in 2021 that correspond to the F ranges in the EU multi annual plan for Western Waters are between 1682 and 1710 tonnes (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2017–2019). One species of sea-pen (Virgularia mirabilis) were recorded as present at the stations surveyed. Trawl marks were observed at 36% of the stations surveyed.
  • Aran, Galway Bay and Slyne Head Nephrops Grounds (FU17) 20 20 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2021

    Doyle, J.; Galligan, S.; Aristegui, M.; O’ Brien, S.; Fitzgerald, R.; Tully, D.; McAuliffe, M (Marine Institute, 2020)
    This report provides the main results and findings of the nineteenth annual underwater television survey 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, CTD and other ecosystem data. In 2020 a total of 44 UWTV stations were successfully completed, 34 on the Aran Grounds, 5 on Galway Bay and 5 on Slyne Head patches. The mean burrow density observed in 2020, adjusted for edge effect, was medium at 0.29 burrows/m². The final krigged burrow abundance estimate for the Aran Grounds was 359 million burrows with a CV (Coefficient of Variance; relative standard error) of 4%. The final abundance estimate for Galway Bay was 27 million and for Slyne Head was 7 million, with CVs of 13% and 4% respectively. The total abundance estimates have fluctuated considerably over the time series. The 2020 combined abundance estimate (394 million burrows) is 20% lower than in 2019, and it is below the MSY Btrigger reference point (540 million burrows). Using the 2020 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catches between 443 and 508 tonnes in 2021 that correspond to the F ranges in the EU multi annual plan for Western Waters, assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2017–2019. Virgularia mirabilis was the only sea-pen species observed on the UWTV footage. Trawl marks were present at 7% of the Aran stations surveyed.
  • Porcupine Bank Nephrops Grounds (FU16) 2020 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2021

    Aristegui, M.; Blaszkowski, M.; Doyle, J.; Hehir, I.; Lynch, D.; Ryan, G.; Lordan, C. (Marine Institute, 2020)
    This report provides the results of the eighth underwater television on the ‘Porcupine Bank Nephrops grounds’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 16. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV and other ecosystem data. In total 65 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 2020, adjusted for edge effect, was 0.17 burrows/m². The final krigged abundance estimate was 1264 million burrows with a CV of 4% and an estimated stock area of 7,130 km2. The 2020 abundance estimate was 25% higher than in 2019. Using the 2020 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catches between 2653 and 3290 tonnes in 2021 that correspond to the F ranges in the EU multiannual plan for Western Waters (assuming that all catch is landed). Four species of sea-pen; Virgularia mirabilis, Funiculina quadrangularis, Pennatula phosphorea and the deepwater sea-pen Kophobelemnon stelliferum were observed during the survey. Trawl marks were also observed on 22% of the stations surveyed.

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