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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Recent Submissions

  • Atlas of Commercial Fisheries around Ireland, fourth edition

    Gerritsen, Hans D (Marine Institute, 2024)
    This atlas provides a series of detailed maps of commercial fishing activity around Ireland with the aim of providing insights into fishing activities and fisheries resources. The atlas contains maps of: <br><br> * Fishing effort of vessels of all nationalities by gear type inside the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); <br><br> * Fishing effort of Irish vessels by gear type in all areas where they operate; <br><br> * Landings taken by Irish vessels for the main commercially exploited species.<br><br> The atlas is the fourth of its kind and is based on data from fishing vessels of ≥12m in length over the period 2018-2022.<br><br> The maps are available for download in geotiff format from: https://doi.org/10/mfb7. As new data becomes available these online datasets will be updated
  • Year in Review 2023

    Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2024)
    The Year in Review 2023 is a snapshot of some of the Marine Institute’s many highlights and achievements during a busy and productive year.
  • Correlation Between Reef Terrain Variables and Species Diversity in Spiny Lobster Habitat

    O'Keeffe, Eimear; Scally, L.; Clarke, S.; Pfeiffer, N.; Smith, Brian; Tully, Oliver (Marine Institute, 2024)
    Crayfish or spiny lobster occur in physically complex reef habitat in shallow waters off the west coast of Ireland. These habitats provide shelter for larvae that are settling out from the overlying water column and for juvenile and adult lobsters that use these areas to shelter and forage. Fisheries for spiny lobster occur in these areas and remove lobsters from the reef. The consequence of this for the structure and function of reef habitat is unknown. In this study the distribution of reef habitat was estimated from multibeam acoustic data collected in previous campaigns by the INFOMAR programme. Sub-sets of this area were re-mapped at higher resolution to provide further detail of the topography of the reef from which terrain variables were derived. Underwater video and SCUBA methods were used to identify the flora and fauna in areas with different topographies. Weak correlations between the terrain variables and the biological data were found. This was used to model the distribution of areas of high and low biodiversity over broader areas where only terrain data were available. Capacity to model the distribution of biological communities and crayfish over broad areas using physical terrain data remains difficult. Other physical variables that may be important in regulating the biology of reef need to be included and the association of crayfish with particular types of reef terrain needs to be established by higher resolution sampling. The benefits of the work reported here include increased capacity to monitor the distribution of biodiversity in marine reef habitats, to detect change that may be brought about by sector activities such as fishing or climate change, to estimate the population size of exploited reef species for fisheries management and to identify positive changes to biodiversity and lobster abundance that may occur through spatial management of reef habitat.
  • Celtic Sea Herring Acoustic Survey Cruise Report 2023, 09 - 29 October, 2023

    O'Donnell, Ciaran; O’Malley, M.; Mullins, Eugene; Daly, Eoghan; Keogh, Niall; McBride, Lauren (Marine Institute, 2024)
    The primary objectives of this survey were: <br><br> *Carry out a two phase survey cruise track covering the core survey area <br><br> *Carry out additional adaptive surveys as required in areas of interest <br><br> *Collect biological samples from directed trawling on insonified fish echotraces <br><br> * Collect biological data on the age, length and maturity of herring and sprat <br><br> *Determine an age stratified estimate of relative abundance of herring within the survey area (ICES Divisions VIIj, VIIg and VIIaS) <br><br> *Determine an estimate of relative abundance of sprat, anchovy and sardine within the survey area (ICES Divisions VIIj, VIIg and VIIaS) <br><br> *Collect physical oceanography data from vertical profiles from a deployed sensor array <br><br> * Collect biological samples of sprat and herring for genetic analysis on stock origin studies. <br><br> * Visual surveys to determine the distribution and abundance of apex predators (marine mammals, tuna and seabirds)
  • Shellfish Stocks and Fisheries Review 2023: an assessment of selected stocks

    Marine Institute; Bord Iascaigh Mhara (Marine Institute, 2023)
    This review presents updated information on the status of selected shellfish stocks in Ireland for 2023. In addition, data on the fleet and landings of shellfish species (excluding Nephrops) 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.
  • Newport Research Facility, Annual Report No. 67, 2022

    Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2023)
    This report represents a continuation of the scientific aspects of the Annual Reports published by the Salmon Research Agency of Ireland, now integrated 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 50 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 supporting projects such as development of novel enhancement techniques, alternative stocks and ranching and evaluation of interactions between farmed, ranched and wild strains. An expanding programme in the Burrishoole system is including ecological and genetics research into eel, sticklebacks and stock dynamics of juvenile salmonids and eels.
  • The Irish Maritime Transport Economist Volume 20

    Irish Maritime Development Office (Marine Institute, 2023)
  • Explorers FinTastic Sharks - Sharks from around the World Poster final 201223

    Dromgool-Regan, Cushla (Marine Institute, 2023)
    The Explorers FinTastic Sharks - Sharks from around the World A2 Poster can be printed for the classroom or used on a whiteboard to show off some of the many shark species around the world. The poster includes 21 shark illustrations, including their common name, scientific name, size, weight, and depth they swim at, as well as the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List
  • Explorers FinTastic Sharks_Mermaids Purse Identification Key 438mmx 310mm

    Dromgool-Regan, Cushla; McCrea, Mona (Marine Institute, 2024)
    The Mermaids Purse Identification Key (438mmx 310mm) is an excellent resource where teachers and children can work individually or as teams on the seashore or in the classroom to identify shark and skate egg cases found on the shoreline. It is recommended that the 2-page key is printed on an A3 sheet and cut to size.
  • Explorers My Fin-Tastic Sharks+ Theme Park planning and design worksheet

    Dromgool-Regan, Cushla (Marine Institute, 2023)
    The Explorers My Fin-Tastic Sharks+ Theme Park planning and design worksheet is an excellent resource where children can work individually or as teams on a project designing and creating a shark theme park. The worksheet prompts children to use the Explorers Fin-Tastic Sharks+ An Introduction to Elasmobranchs for Children as a guide to help them design their theme park rides. The project also encourages children to think about STEM and sustainability with the development of their park
  • Explorers My Fin-Tastic Sharks Creative Design Book

    Dromgool-Regan, Cushla (Marine Institute, 2023)
    The Explorers My Fin-Tastic Sharks Creative Design Book is an excellent resource for teachers and children to use for creative art projects. The design book has over 20 pictures of shark species, including the largest, medium, and smallest shark species in the world. Each page is dedicated to a specific shark which children can use as a template for design, colour or use fabric & fibres to create a shark collage.
  • Explorers Fin-Tastic Sharks+ My Elasmobranchs Workbook

    Dromgool-Regan, Cushla; McCrea, Mona (Marine Institute, 2023)
    The Explorers Fin-Tastic Sharks+ My Elasmobranchs Workbook provides 14 cross-curricular lesson activities and worksheets where children can learn about sharks, skates and rays in Irish waters and around the world. The workbook is an excellent resource for thematic projects and completing activities in the classroom that support the Irish primary school curriculum framework - developing children's competencies and skills (2023).
  • Explorers Fin-Tastic Sharks+ An Introduction to Elasmobranchs for Children

    Dromgool-Regan, Cushla; Crowley, Danielle; McCrea, Mona (Marine Institute, 2023)
    Explorers Fin-Tastic Sharks+ An Introduction to Elasmobranchs for Children book introduces teachers and children to sharks, skates and rays in Irish waters and worldwide. The book looks at sharks' anatomy, superpowers and adaptations, mermaid's purses and pups, and lots more. The book also highlights the threats facing these species and scientists and communities helping & protecting sharks, skates and rays.
  • Global warming will change the thermal structure of Lough Feeagh, a sentinel lake in the Irish landscape, by the end of the twenty-first century

    Ayala, Ana; de Eyto, Elvira; Jennings, Eleanor; Goyette, Stéphane; Pierson, Don C. (Royal Irish Academy, 2023)
    Recent developments in impact modelling of global warming on lakes have resulted in a greater understanding of how these vital ecosystems are likely to respond. However, there has been little quantitative analysis of this in an Irish context, despite the importance of lakes in the island's landscape. Here, we explore the impact of global warming on the hydrodynamics and thermal structure of a sentinel Irish lake under future climate scenarios. A 1D lake model, Simstrat, was calibrated and validated using water temperature data collected from Lough Feeagh, a site of long-term ecological research in the west of Ireland. Once validated, the model was then driven by daily climate model projections to generate informative thermal metrics for the time period of 2006–2099. Despite the moderating influence of the Atlantic, projections indicate that global warming will have a marked effect on the thermal structure of Feeagh, with surface water temperatures set to warm by 0.75°C under a more stringent mitigation pathway (RCP 2.6) and 2.42°C under a non-mitigation pathway (RCP 8.5). While warming was projected to be greatest in summer in the epilimnion, winter warming was greater than in other seasons in the hypolimnion. Stratification is projected to become more stable and earlier, and the growing season to be longer by 11 to 47 days, depending on mitigation pathways. Future studies could use a similar modelling workflow to investigate the possible implications of global warming on other Irish lakes, particularly those of specific societal importance or those of conservation interest.
  • Proceedings of the 10th EuroGOOS International Conference ‘European Operational Oceanography for the Ocean we want – Addressing the UN Ocean Decade Challenges’. 3-5 October 2023, Galway, Ireland

    Eparkhina, Dina; Nolan, Joseph (Marine Institute, 2023)
    The 10th EuroGOOS International Conference addressed all aspects of operational oceanography and its societal relevance discussed priorities in the context of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030.
  • Ireland’s Ocean Economy, 2023

    Reilly, Kieran; O'Leary, Jenny; Hynes, Stephen; Clancy, Keillan (Marine Institute, 2023)
    Ireland’s Ocean Economy Report, 2023, provides an update on Ireland’s ocean economy across three main economic indicators: turnover, gross value added (GVA) and employment (FTEs), and provides an analysis of trends over a five-year period (2018-2022). The report also provides commentary on rates of change over a ten-year timeframe (2022 to 2012), and also analyses any changes pre- and post-Covid (i.e. changes from 2019 to 2022, where evident). The report is accompanied by an online dashboard, where data trends can be accessed. The 2023 Ocean Economy Report is the seventh in the ocean economy series. Ireland’s ocean economy statistics are based on nominal values. The 2023 report reviews these values to also provide an estimate of ‘real values’ to adjust for inflation.
  • Summary Report on 2022 Residue Monitoring of Irish Farmed Fish & 2022 Border Inspection Post Fishery Product Testing of Samples Received into the Marine Institute

    Glynn, Denise; McGovern, Evin; Reilly, Niamh; Kelly, Corinne; Moffat, R.; Kaur, Navdeep; Toomey, M.; Gordon, Emma (Marine Institute, 2023)
    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 2022, in excess of 803 tests and a total of 8,263 measurements were carried out on 138 samples of farmed finfish for a range of residues. Implementation of the Aquaculture 2022 Plan involves taking samples at both farm and processing plant: 92 target samples taken at harvest: 82 farmed salmon and 10 freshwater trout. 46 target samples were taken at other stages of production: 36s salmon smolts and 10 freshwater trout. All 2022 samples were compliant. For target sampling of farmed fish, a summary table of the residue results from 2005 - 2022 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 2022.
  • FU19 Nephrops Grounds 2023 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2024

    Doyle, Jennifer; Aristegui, M.; Ryan, Gráinne; Bentley, K.; Sullivan, Mairead; Opanowski, Artur; Sugrue, S.; Farrell, Ellen; Domingos, Marta; McCorriston, P.; et al. (Marine Institute, 2023)
    This report provides the main results of the fourteenth underwater television survey of the various Nephrops patches in Functional Unit 19. The survey was multi disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV and other ecosystem data. In 2023 a total 42 UWTV stations were successfully completed. The mean density estimates varied considerably across the different patches. The 2023 raised abundance estimate showed a 15% decrease from the 2022 estimate and at 220 million burrows is below the MSY Btrigger reference point (430 million). Using the 2023 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch in 2024 that correspond to the F ranges in the EU multi annual plan for Western Waters are between 224 and 248 tonnes (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2020–2022). One species of sea pen was observed; Virgularia mirabilis which has been observed on previous surveys of FU19. Trawl marks were observed at 10% of the stations surveyed.
  • The “Smalls” Nephrops Grounds (FU22) 2023 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2024

    Doyle, Jennifer; Bentley, K.; Sullivan, Mairead; Opanowski, Artur; Sugrue, S.; Farrell, Ellen; Domingos, Marta; Hehir, Imelda; Ryan, Gráinne; McCorriston, P. (Marine Institute, 2023)
    This report provides the main results and findings of the eighteenth 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 41 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 < 7%, was well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS (ICES, 2012). The 2023 abundance estimate was 13% lower than in 2022 and at 776 million is below the MSY Btrigger reference point (990 million). Using the 2023 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch in 2024 that correspond to the ICES MSY approach of 1912 tonnes, assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2020 - 2022. One species of sea pen was recorded as present at the stations surveyed: Virgularia mirabilis. Trawl marks were observed at 37% of the stations surveyed.

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