• First Detection of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) Toxins in Icelandic Mussels (Mytilus edulis): Links to Causative Phytoplankton Species.

      Burrell, Stephen; Gunnarsson, Thor; Gunnarsson, Karl; Clarke, Dave; Turner, Andrew D. (Elsevier, 2013)
      Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins were detected in blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) from two harvesting areas, Eyjafjordur on the north coast and Breidafjordur on the west coast of Iceland in 2009. During a bloom of Alexandrium spp. at both locations in June of that year, blue mussels were found to be contaminated with paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), leading to extensive closures of these harvesting sites. Phytoplankton data taken during this time showed the presence of large numbers of A. tamarense, with smaller numbers of A. ostenfeldii also being detected. Mussel samples were analysed by mouse bioassay (MBA) and liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (LC-FLD). Toxicity over 10 times the European Union (EU) regulatory limit was observed in samples from Eyjafjordur while levels over 4 times this limit were detected in samples from Breidafjordur. The toxin profile determined by LC-FLD was found to be composed primarily of the carbamate toxins gonyautoxin-2,3 (GTX-2,3). Saxitoxin (STX) was also detected in all samples analysed and was the second most abundant toxin present. Gonyautoxin-1,4 (GTX-1,4) was detected at lower concentrations in half the samples analysed from both locations. Comparison is made between predicted toxin profiles from these algal species and the toxin profiles determined through LC-FLD analysis. These results represent the first identification and PST profile determination in shellfish harvested from Icelandic waters.
    • First estimates of age, growth, and maturity of boarfish (Capros aper): a species newly exploited in the Northeast Atlantic

      White, Emma; Minto, Cóilín; Nolan, Conor P.; King, Erna; Mullins, Eugene; Clarke, Maurice (Oxford University Press, 2011)
      Boarfish in the Northeast Atlantic have recently been exploited commercially for fishmeal. It is a sexually dimorphic species with an estimated maximum age of 26 years, late age at maturity (A50 = 5.25 years), relatively fast rate of growth (K = 0.186 year−1), and a small asymptotic length (L∞ = 128.9 mm).
    • First results from a new method of tagging salmon - the coded wire tag

      Browne, J (Department of Fisheries and Forestry (Trade and Information Section), 1981)
      This leaflet describes the use of a new and highly sophisticated method of tagging salmon. The tag is a microscopic piece of steel carrying a binary-coded number. It is injected into the nose of the young fish and can be recovered at any time subsequently by passing the fish through a magnetic detector. More than 127,000 juvenile salmon were tagged in 1979 and the first of these were recaptured as grilse in the summer of 1981. Research work initiated by Eileen Twomey in 1975 at the Fisheries Research Centre showed that hatchery-reared smolts were making a significant contribution to the national salmon catch. Hatchery-reared fish are recognised by the absence of the adipose fin which is clipped off before the fish are released. The adipose fin is generally thought to be rudimentary and its removal does not seem to affect the fish in any way. The results obtained showed that the proportion of hatchery-reared fish in the commercial catch varied from 2% in the Northwest to 13% on the Clare and Galway coasts. This work gave information on the contribution of hatcheries to the national salmon harvest. The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) have proposals to increase significantly the production of reared smolts for release. It is clearly essential to have information on the survival of hatchery salmon, on the efficiency of various rearing stations and on aspects of husbandry such as the best time for releasing the young fish. This information cannot be obtained by the fin-clipping technique alone but the coded wire tag can provide the answers to many of the vital questions.
    • Fish Egg & Larval Surveys

      Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2006)
      The waters around Ireland contain some the most important spawning areas for north-east Atlantic fish stocks. Egg and Larval Surveys are a vital part of mapping these spawning areas and contribute to fisheries management decisions. Egg surveys can also give scientists an indication of the state of the spawning stock within a particular area by using what is called the Annual Egg Production (AEP) method. This method uses information on the number of eggs sampled in an area, and relates it to the number of eggs produced by female fish in the spawning season, to calculate the number of females spawned in the area.
    • Fish Health Unit Report of Activities Undertaken in 2018 and 2019

      Dore, W.; Power, A.; Kenny, E.; Bradley, F.; Cheslett, D.; White, S.; McCarthy, U.; Ruane, N. M. (Marine Institute, 2020)
      This report summarises the activities undertaken by the Fish Health Unit (FHU) of the Marine Institute (MI) in 2018 and 2019. The services of the FHU, undertaken on behalf of the State, are largely driven by European and national legislation on aquatic animal health. European Council Directive 2006/88/EC on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals lays down rules for the control of aquatic animal health within the EU. The directive is enacted in Irish Law by Statutory Instrument (SI) 261 of 2008. The MI is the Competent Authority (CA) responsible for implementation of aquatic animal health regulation in Ireland as described in these statutes. Aquatic animal health regulations in SI 261 of 2008 apply to finfish farms, shellfish farms, and put and take fisheries, and require that such aquaculture production businesses (APBs) obtain a Fish Health Authorisation (FHA) from the CA prior to operation.
    • Fish Kills 1969-1987

      McCarthy, D T (Department of the Marine, 1988)
      A total of 66 fish kills were reported to the Regional Fisheries Boards in 1986 and 122 in 1987. Effluents from agriculture and agriculture-based industries accounted for 56 of the kills in 1986 and 95 in 1987. When the two periods, 1969-74 and 1980-87 are compared, it can be seen that the numbers caused by sewage and industrial wastes have not changed significantly, but the damage from agriculture has risen at an alarming rate. The fact that problems from sewage and industry remained at a low level in the period, in spite of increasing urbanisation, suggests that measures to combat these sources of pollution have had some effect. Analysis of the fish kills shows clearly that the most urgent problem is to discover how silage effluent can be controlled.
    • Fish Kills in Ireland 1991-1992

      Moriarty, C (Department of the Marine, 1993)
      The numbers of fish kills were below the average for the ten years since the systematic recording of incidents began in 1983. Totals were 60 and 51 for 1991 and 1992 respectively. Both years therefore represent a continuation of the downward trend which began after the peak of 122 incidents in 1987. An important factor in the improved situation was the reduction in the number of silage discharges which had been the most serious problem for a number of years. Untreated sewage and industrial effluents in general have also shown downward trends. . Two serious problems remaining are 'enrichment' and run-off from farmyards, which includes spillage of slurry. Slurry and farm effluents in fact showed an increase in 1992 over 1991. Enrichment by excessive phosphorous, derived both from partially treated domestic sewage and from fertiliser, causes algal blooms leading to deoxygenation of the water and the death sometimes of very large numbers of fish - to say nothing of environmental conditions which are unacceptable to everybody who uses rivers or lakes. The effect of a discharge of effluent depends on many factors. In wet weather with high stream flows the damage will be minimised because the effluent is diluted quickly. A spillage beside a small river will led to a much more extensive fish kill than the same quantity of effluent will cause in a large one. These and other factors probably explain why, in spite of the small number of fish kills in 1992, nearly twice as much river was affected as in 1991.
    • Fish Kills in Ireland in 1985

      Fahy, E (Department of Tourism, Fisheries and Forestry, 1986-06)
      Fish kills reported by the water pollution officers of the Regional Fisheries Boards in 1985 are evaluated as were similar incidents in 1983 and 1984. Trout, Salmo trutta, was the species most widely implicated and the suspected cause of death was oxygen depletion resulting from agricultural activities. The small number of kills (37), compared with other years, was attributed to weather conditions and particularly to high rainfall in 1985. Contrary to expectation, the average numbers of fish killed in an incident were higher and the channel lengths affected were twice as long as in 1983 and 1984. Whether these findings represent a new pattern of water pollution is not known.
    • Fish Kills in Ireland in 1988

      McCarthy, D; Moriarty, C (Department of the Marine, 1989)
      The number of fish kills reported in 1988 showed a very welcome reduction to 50 incidents after the 1987 record of 122. The principal source of trouble has continued to be inadequately planned agricultural practices. Run-off from silage was once more the most serious problem, accounting for 13 kills. Slurry or manure accounted for seven more. While weather conditions may have alleviated the problem, due credit for the improvement must be given to the farmers who responded to the campaign organised by the Government in conjunction with the farming organisations. Industrial sources were responsible for 11 incidents. They have been increasing since 1985 but still remain below the maximum recorded in 1984. Sewage, for the first time since 1980, was not implicated. The most serious events in 1988 were on the Inny caused by an industrial effluent and on the Dodder following a discharge of silt from a water treatment plant.
    • Fish Kills in Ireland in 1989

      Moriarty, C (Department of the Marine, 1990)
      The final estimate for the number of fish kills in 1989 was 111. The increase in 1989 is largely accounted for by the exceptional warm weather conditions which prevailed. Details of all the incidents are given in the following pages. When these are analysed some very significant facts emerge. The number of fish kills while higher than in 1988 (50 kills) was about nine percent lower than in 1987 (122 kills). Low water due to dry weather conditions was the most important factor in 1989 raising the number of kills by 50%. Despite weather conditions, fish kills due to agricultural causes showed little change on the 1988 level - thus maintaining the substantial reduction in kills due to these causes achieved in 1988. As many as 50 of the incidents resulted from pollution which in a normal wet summer would not have caused such serious damage. These problems give a useful, if painful, reminder that water pollution can have devastating results. They also serve to highlight high risk situations. Many of the 1989 fish kills resulted from a shortage of oxygen from untraceable causes, for example from excessive plant growth due to fertiliser run-off or domestic sewage - or both. Others came from identifiable sources. In about half these cases the authorities felt that genuine accidents had happened and a warning to the guilty party was all that was needed. In others, twenty-seven in all, legal proceedings were set in motion.
    • Fish Kills in Ireland in 1990

      Moriarty, C (Department of the Marine, 1991-07)
      The total of 52 fish kills in 1990 was a marked improvement over the previous year when 111 were reported. Although this result was no better than that for 1988, it represented a considerable achievement because 1988 experienced a wet summer with high water flows while 1990 was exceptionally dry. Because of the poor dilution of pollutants, low river flows are usually associated with an increase in the number of fish kills. All three traditional causes of fish kills, agriculture, industry and sewage showed a downward trend. These have all been subjected to a campaign of information and enforcement of the regulations. This has brought about an increased awareness of the hazards and major improvements have been made in reducing the risks of accidental spillages. In spite of these efforts, the problem remains very serious. Although so much better than the peak figures of more than 100 fish kills in a single year, the level of 50 is unacceptably high. The analysis of the year's results shows that agricultural sources continue to cause extremely serious damage. The problem lies partly in the fact that a single accidental discharge into a salmonid nursery river can kill many thousands of fish for as much as 20 kilometres downstream. If the downward trend of problems from agriculture and industry can be maintained, the greatest threat in water pollution is likely to be that of enrichment, above all the release of excessive phosphate into the environment. Two sources, fertilizer and domestic sewage, are implicated. The sewage element can be controlled by upgrading treatment plants wherever necessary. The reduction of phosphate runoff requires continued attention to the information campaign for farmers to explain the: need for extreme care in fertilizer application. Remedial action in this case increases farm profits since all the fertilizer which pollutes the rivers is lost to the land.
    • Fish Kills in Ireland in 1993

      Moriarty, C (Department of the Marine, 1994)
      The pattern of fish kills in 1993 showed a dramatic change from that of the previous ten years. The number of incidents showed a very welcome reduction to a total of 33, the lowest since systematic records began to be kept in 1982. Only one case of damage caused by silage effluent was reported and two from farm effluents - in the recent past these were the most frequent and serious sources. However, fish kills provisionally attributed to 'enrichment' attained a record total of 16, most of them in the lakes in Co. Cavan in the Erne catchment. Sewage and runoff from agricultural land are the main sources of the phosphorous which brings about excessive blooms of microscopic algae. Enrichment has caused extremely serious problems in the past, in particular in Loughs Ennel and Sheelin. In both cases, remedial measures were successful, although problems have arisen again in the case of Lough Sheelin. The more widespread problem in the Erne catchment may be more difficult to contain and there are also signs of trouble in the Rivers Shannon and Lee. The trend of increasing numbers of enrichment-based fish kills does not necessarily mean that even more such incidents will take place in 1994 - but it is virtually certain that similar problems to those of 1993 will arise sooner or later unless action is taken.
    • Fish Kills in Ireland in 1994 and 1995

      Moriarty, C (Marine Institute, 1996-05)
      In 1994, the downward trend in numbers of fish kills continued, the total for the year being 32. However, in 1995 a long spell of dry weather greatly reduced the flow in rivers in all parts of Ireland and the number of fish kills rose to 84, the highest since 1989. In 1994, farmyard effluents, silage and slurry together accounted for one third of the fish kills. Industrial effluents and enrichment both caused 19% of the total. Storm water runoff and cement spillage in building operations were the other identified causes. In 1995, enrichment was the most frequent problem, followed by agriculture. Inadequately treated sewage was implicated in five cases and waterworks effluent in two. In 17 cases the mortalities were associated with reduced water flows or high temperatures or a combination of the two. The dry summer in a number of cases revealed unsatisfactory levels of pollution which are usually masked by higher water flows such as occurred in 1994. The increase in farm-based problems suggested that some of the improved facilities for storage and treatment of farm waste which were made in the late 1980s may now be due for maintenance. Enrichment of lake systems, particularly those of the Erne and Shannon, has now established itself as the most serious threat to the condition of natural waters. Fish kills are an early warning of a situation which may develop and have far-reaching effects on economic interests far removed from the fishery itself.
    • Fish Kills in Ireland: An Analysis of Incidents in 1983 and 1984

      Fahy, E (Department of Fisheries and Forestry, 1985-08)
      An analysis is presented of 200 fish kills recorded in 1983 and 1984. The reports which originated from various sources were corroborated by the water pollution officers of the Regional Fishery Boards. The incidents are evaluated by reference to similar information gathered by the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States of America. Shortcomings in the reporting of incidents include the lapse of time between the onset of a kill and its appraisal and the difficulties of establishing the facts retrospectively. The preponderance of trout among the mortalities might indicate a bias towards reporting incidents which involved this game species. The vast majority of kills occurred in rivers and about 65% took place in June and July, a pattern resembling that in the United States. Where the size of kill was recorded it averaged 269 fish, very small by U.S. standards. The average channel length affected by a fish kill was approximately 2.8 km (1.7 miles) (ranging between 0.01 and 25 km; 0.06 and 16 miles) and there was no relationship between the channel lengths and the numbers of mortalities.
    • Fish species recorded during deepwater trawl surveys on the continental shelf and the Porcupine Bank, 2006-2008

      Johnston, G.; O'Hea, B.; Dransfeld, L. (Marine Institute, 2012)
      The Marine Institute and the National University of Ireland, Galway conducted a deepwater survey each September from 2006-2008 from the RV Celtic Explorer using BT184 deepwater nets with type-D ground gear (ICES 2006). Fish, benthic and hydrographic data were collected. Two-hour fishing trawls (time on bottom) took place in three locations on the continental slope to the north and west of Ireland, and on the Porcupine Bank. The survey objectives were to collect biological data on the main deepwater fish species and invertebrates. In total 166 taxa were recorded over the three years, with a maximum of 129 in 2008.
    • Fisher's preferences and trade-offs between management options

      Fitzpatrick, Mike; Maravelias, Christos D; Eigaard, Ole Ritzau; Hynes, Stephen; Reid, David (Wiley, 2017)
      Failure to understand the potential responses of fishers to management measures creates a significant risk of revisiting the familiar scenario of perverse and unintended consequences of those measures. This paper reports on a choice experiment survey to evaluate fisher's preferences for various management measures proposed under the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform process, but the conclusions have wider relevance as similar measures are used by comparable fleets in fisheries globally. The survey was conducted with fishers involved in mixed pelagic and demersal fisheries in Ireland, pelagic fisheries in Denmark and demersal fisheries in Greece. Fisheries management policies were characterized by five attributes designed both to cover the principal CFP reform proposals and to integrate ecological, social, economic and institutional factors affecting fisher's decisions. The study uses a random utility modelling framework to reveal the preferences of the fishers across the alternative policy attributes. Results show that while there are generally preferences both for healthy stocks and for maintaining the importance of fishing to the local community, strong interfishery preference differences exist. These differences are most notable in relation to a discard ban and to the use of individual transferable fishing rights, favoured in Denmark, but not in Ireland for instance. The strength of these interfishery differences supports the assertion that there are no panaceas in fisheries management and that solutions should be tailored within the context of specific fisheries. Not doing so could create a significant risk of inappropriately managed fisheries that may lead to unsustainable outcomes.
    • Fisheries for Ray (Batoidei) in Western statistical area viia, investigated through the commercial catches.

      Fahy, E (Department of the Marine, 1989)
      The status of the Irish Sea ray fishery is investigated using commercial catches of rays landed into two ports, Howth and Arklow. Approximately 80 45kg boxes were examined monthly over a year when approximately 100 individuals of each of the four contributing species were aged and measured. The species are R. naevus, montagui, clavata and brachyura. These are inter-mixed and casually segregated into four grades on their length. Weighting factors are provided to raise the sampled numbers to total landings. The frequency distribution of grades at the two ports is established from an analysis of some 5,700 commercial transactions. At Arklow, the pattern is stable from one year to another and apparently seasonal. Arklow boats have a short range. The pattern of landings at Howth is more complex; these vessels have a longer range and probably exploit various ages of rays. Growth in all four species occurs most actively during the summer months, slowing down in the winter. Annulus formation is not readily associated with the conventional birth date of 1 January. Coefficients of total mortality (Z) are high for the four species (0.38-1.00), higher than those found in a recent study of rays in Carmarthen Bay. R. brachyura is the most valuable species. R. naevus is the most numerous, possibly because it has a competitive advantage due to its age at full recruitment being one year later than those of the other three species. The yield of rays increases moving offshore and in a southerly direction in the Irish Sea. Landings into Irish ports by Irish vessels have increased between 1903 and 1985 although, until recently, ray as a percentage of total demersal landings was declining, from the 1950s.
    • Fisheries Research Centre: Report for 1992

      Department of the Marine (Department of the Marine, 1993)
      This report of the Fishery Research Centre's 1992 programme reflects not only the wide range of the work carried out, but also the extensive multidisciplinary expertise available at the FRC which we deploy in support of resource-based industries and other marine-oriented commercial enterprises. The report also provides information on the important scientific activities which the FRC has been able to initiate or expand by means of the valuable funding received under the EC STRIDE initiative. The £2.02 m allocated to the FRC over the period 1991-1993 (75% funded by the EC) is being used to carry out applied research in the three main areas of our responsibility - fish stocks, aquaculture and marine environment - in support of lreland’s marine based industries. Under STRIDE we have augmented the FRC staff by 23 people (a 50% increase) in order to implement this extended research programme. This intake of contract staff comprises 2 post-doctorates, 10 post-graduates, 8 laboratory technicians and 3 technical (clerical) assistants.
    • Fisheries Research Centre: Report for 1993

      Department of the Marine (Department of the Marine, 1994-11)
      Work carried out at the Fisheries Research Centre in 1993 reflects the impact of the first full year of support funding from the EC STRIDE initiative. As highlighted in the 1992 Report, the extra £2.02 million allocated to FRC (75% provided by the EC) enabled us to initiate or expand, in support of Irish marine-based industries, a broad range of scientific activities in the fields of marine fish stocks, aquaculture and the environment. The 1993 programme enabled by this extra research funding, as described in the following pages, is already yielding benefits on a national scale. More working contact with industry, increased data acquisition and big improvements in our analytical and reporting capabilities have enabled the FRC to provide a better service to management which has greatly strengthened Ireland's hand in negotiating for quotas and other benefits. The improved facilities have also led to an increase in our success rate in applying for European research funds. The success of STRIDE has demonstrated the value of a realistic scale of financial investment in a national programme of scientific R&D (research and development). Financial commitment must be maintained at the same level, or increased, if the benefits – already emerging –for our marine-based industries are to achieve their full impact in the years ahead.
    • Fisheries Research Centre: Report for 1994-1995

      Fisheries Research Centre (Marine Institute, 1997-03)
      This combined annual Report for the years 1994 and 1995 span a critical period in the history of the Fisheries Research Centre. During 1994 the funding support from the EC STRIDE Initiative came to an end, having achieved a notable and wholly innovative impact on marine R&D activities in Ireland. The scientific undertakings at the core of the STRIDE Programme have been maintained through a number of contract research positions at the FRC, where they continue to make a critical contribution to Irish marine science. The year 1995 marked the culmination of almost a century of fisheries related research carried out under the direct control of the Government Service, having been initiated in 1900 by the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland. On 1 January 1996 the Fisheries Research Centre transferred to the Marine Institute, and thus this FRC Report is the first to be published under the new masthead. The future of Irish marine research, and in particular that part of it carried out at the Fisheries Research Centre, thus looks set to enjoy another boost to its continuing development, similar in impact to that created at the beginning of this century.