Now showing items 1-20 of 1243

    • Blue Whiting Acoustic Survey cruise report, March 20- April 06, 2018

      O'Donnell, D.; Johnston, G.; Mullins, E.; Keogh, N.; Power, J. (O'Donnell, D., Johnston, G., Mullins, E., Keogh, N. and Power, J. (2018). Blue Whiting Acoustic Survey cruise report, March 20- April 06, 2018. FSS Survey Series: 2018/01. Marine Institute, 2018)
      Acoustic surveys targeting blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou) spawning and post spawning aggregations in the north east Atlantic have been carried out by the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) Norway since the early 1970s. The 2018 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°-18° W. To the south of 51°N the Spanish research vessel the RV Miguel Oliver conducted a survey, complimentary to, but separate to the IBWSS survey, as part of their annual PELACUS survey program. International survey participants met 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 unless otherwise stated.
    • National Survey of Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis Krøyer and Caligus elongatus Nordmann) on Fish Farms in Ireland – 2018

      O’Donohoe, P.; Kane, F.; Kelly, S.; McDermott, T.; Casserly, J.; D'Arcy, J.; Downes, J.K.; McLoughlin, S.; Jackson, D. (Marine Institute, 2019)
      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. Sea lice are a naturally occurring parasite found on marine fish, including salmonids. They are small ecto-parasitic copepod crustaceans and there are approximately 559 species. The objectives of the National Sea Lice Monitoring Programme are:  To provide an objective measurement of infestation levels on farms.  To investigate the nature of infestations.  To provide management information to drive the implementation of control and management strategies.  To facilitate further development and refinement of this strategy. The sea lice control and management strategy has five principal components:  Separation of generations.  Annual fallowing of sites.  Early harvest of two-sea-winter fish.  Targeted treatment regimes, including synchronous treatments.  Agreed husbandry practices.
    • Shellfish Stocks and Fisheries Review 2018: an assessment of selected stocks

      Marine Institute; Bord Iascaigh Mhara (Marine Institute, 2019)
      This review presents information on the status of selected shellfish stocks in Ireland. In addition, data on the fleet and landings of shellfish species (excluding Nephrops and mussels) 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 shellfisheries 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. Stock status and exploitation status indicators are presented, where estimated, as a contribution to the assessment of Good Environmental Status (GES) of shellfish for Descriptor 3 (Commercial Fisheries) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Mitigation measures to protect habitats within Natura 2000 sites, which have been developed in response to Habitats Directive Article 6 assessments and in consultation with the industry, are summarised. The competent authority for the management of these sites is the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government oversees the implementation of the MSFD in Ireland. The information and advice presented here for shellfish is complementary to that presented in the MI Stock Book on demersal and pelagic fisheries. Separate treatment of shellfish is warranted as their biology and distribution, the assessment methods that can be applied to them and the system under which they are managed, all differ substantially to demersal and pelagic stocks.
    • A hydrothermal AdVENTure - Build Your Own Unknown art and science project

      Dromgool-Regan, C.; Burke, N. (Marine Institute and Tulca, 2019)
      A hydrothermal AdVENTure - Build Your Own Unknown art and science project provides children with an exciting opportunity to learn about the deep ocean in a meaningful way. The cross-curricular lesson plans and teaching resources are an exemplar of using ICT, art and marine science in the classroom. From science, geography, history and English to creating art pieces, students can use their scientific and creative skills producing film and art pieces to communicate their discoveries.
    • Atlantic Herring and Horse Mackerel in 6aS/7b; Industry Acoustic Survey Cruise Report

      O'Malley, M.; Blaszkowski, M.; White, E.; O'Brien, S.; Mullins, E. (Marine Institute, 2019)
      An acoustic survey of Atlantic herring Clupea harengus and horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus was conducted in ICES areas 6aS/7b in Nov 2018 using the pair trawl vessels MFV Eilean Croine S238 and MFV Sparkling Star D437. This survey is the third in a time series that is hoped will be developed into a long-term index of spawning/pre-spawning herring and horse mackerel in 6aS/7b, for use in stock assessments in the future. The survey design was based on the predicted distribution of herring and horse mackerel in this area during this time. In total 1,400nmi of cruise track was completed using 37 transects and related to a total area coverage of approximately 5,600 nmi². Parallel transect spacing was set at 7.5nmi for the wider area strata, and 3.5nmi for Donegal Bay and Achill strata. Coverage extended from inshore coastal areas to the 200 m contour in the west and north where possible. A survey was carried out in Lough Swilly using a zig-zag design. A Simrad ES-38B (38 kHz) split-beam transducer mounted on a towed body was used to collect acoustic raw data. Very strong herring marks were evident in Lough Swilly, an area where boats in the monitoring fishery were concentrating effort. There were a few herring marks in discreet areas around Glen Head, Bruckless Bay, Inishmurray and Inishbofin. A total of four commercial fishing hauls on horse mackerel were completed during the survey. 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 Bruckless Bay as close spatially and temporally as possible to the survey in these areas. Herring were dominated overall by 4-wr fish, 29% of the overall numbers. Horse mackerel were distributed throughout the survey area, but particularly throughout the area to the north and west of the Stags of Broadhaven. Horse mackerel length distribution was dominated by a mode at 25-26cm. This corresponded to a dominance of 4-wr fish (~89%) in all of the samples. The total stock biomass (TSB) estimate of herring for the combined 6aS/7b area was 50,145 tonnes (Lough Swilly = 32,372 tonnes, Donegal Bay = 9,517 tonnes, NW area = 7,710 tonnes and the remaining Achill strata = 545 tonnes). This is considered to be a minimum estimate of herring in the 6aS/7b survey area at the time of the survey. The TSB estimate of horse mackerel for the total surveyed area in 6aS/7b area was 57,162 tonnes, considered to be a minimum estimate of horse mackerel in the 6aS/7b survey area at the time of the survey. The CV estimates on biomass and abundance are high (~0.51 for herring and ~ 0.36 for horse mackerel) for the survey in 2018. For herring, this is mostly caused by the over-reliance on a few acoustic marks of herring in Lough Swilly and Bruckless Bay in particular. Horse mackerel are a widely distributed stock, therefore the stock was not contained by this survey.
    • Scale Growth Analysis of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar Linnaeus) Unlocking Environmental Histories

      Thomas, K. (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, 2018)
      Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) populations have declined rapidly in recent years across all geographical ranges with populations becoming extinct within certain areas. Direct observation of the salmon’s life is difficult and costly; therefore, scales remain the most widely used material to indirectly assess and monitor the recent changes in growth. Growth marks (circuli) in scales of Atlantic salmon are used to estimate age and to reconstruct growth histories. This thesis investigated mechanisms of circuli formation and the causes of variation in scale growth measurements. Comparison of scales from multiple body locations (Chapter 2) showed that growth, size and shape measurements varied significantly between body locations. Scale measurements taken from the sampling location recommended by ICES were sufficiently correlated with measurements from two adjacent locations in the posterior body region to facilitate conversion; calibration equations are presented for this purpose. Scale measurements from the anterior body region were highly variable and their use is not recommended. Scale size measurements from the recommended sampling location and from the two adjacent locations in the posterior body region were sufficiently correlated with fish fork length. Differences in scale size could potentially be used to determine the body location from which a scale was most likely sampled if this information has not been recorded (e.g. in archived scale collections); regression equations are presented for this purpose. Analysis of scales from experimentally reared Atlantic salmon post-smolts (Chapters 3 and 4), showed that scale growth and circuli number was proportional to fish growth under a range of different water temperatures and feeding conditions, justifying the use of these measurements as a proxy for growth. The rate of circuli deposition varied between temperature and feeding treatments and circuli number was proportional to cumulative degree day. Narrow inter-circuli spacings were observed during periods of slow growth at low temperatures and during periods of fast growth at high temperatures; therefore, circuli spacing should not be used to infer growth rates. In Chapter 5, scales from Atlantic salmon collected from three Irish rivers (Burrishoole, Moy and the Shannon) between 1954 and 2008 were analysed to determine if marine growth has changed during that period and to establish if trends are consistent across populations. Scale growth measurements and their temporal trends varied between populations. Post-smolt scale growth and circuli number were negatively correlated with SST (Burrishoole and Moy), NAO (Burrishoole) and AMO Burrishoole and Shannon). The results indicate that trends observed in one national index river may not be representative of change across all populations. The new knowledge generated in this thesis supports more accurate interpretation of scale growth measurements, furthers our understanding of this important species and ultimately benefits the future management of this species.
    • Beaufort Marine Award: Economic and Social Research related to Development Dynamics of the Marine Sector in Ireland (BEAU/ECON/04)

      Hynes, S.; Corless, R.; Vega, A. (Marine Institute, 2018)
      The vision for this project was the creation of a unit that would underpin the development of the marine sector in Ireland as elaborated in the Sea Change Strategy; a unit that would contribute to the EU marine socio-economic research agenda and that would strengthen marine research in general through providing a complementary socioeconomic element into scientific projects and that would be involved in the transfer of tacit knowledge to marine industry, thereby enhancing innovation and raising its competitiveness. The Beaufort work programme was comprised of three major blocks: • Marine socioeconomic research capacity building • Constructing data bases and monitoring the evolution of the marine sector • A research programme which consisted of a number of key research topics: o The impact of policy and regulations on the development of the marine industry in Ireland o The economic and social impact of the marine sectors in Ireland o Valuing ecosystem service provision from marine resources in Ireland o Economic data collection and reporting on Ireland’s ocean and coastal economies Underpinning Research The “Economic and Social Research related to Development Dynamics of the Marine Sector in Ireland” Beaufort project involved research on a variety of marine related issues associated with the economics of fisheries, marine energy, shipping and other marine sectors as well as research that valued the marine environment and that examined issues surrounding the rural development of coastal communities. In particular it involved examining the economic utility of the marine environment (e.g. transportation, recreation) and the ecological value (e.g. fisheries, aquaculture) derived from the productivity of associated ecosystems. The coastal and contiguous marine environment surrounding Ireland and the EU in general provided the geographical focus for the research. Consideration of the human dimension in the management of marine ecosystems was also a critical component of the research programme. A key element of the project involves the compilation of information in relation to economic and social patterns in Irish coastal communities as well as the economic activity taking place in the seas surrounding Ireland. The project was also very successful in terms of the first element of the Beaufort work program: Marine socioeconomic research capacity building. The project team leveraged over NDP Marine Research Sub-Programme 2007-2013 €2 million in additional funding over the life of the Award, which included funded projects such as: • Horizon 2020. Project Title: ATLAS: A Trans-Atlantic Assessment and deep-water ecosystem-based spatial management plan for Europe - In association with 24 other European research organisations. • Horizon 2020. Project Title: MERCES:Marine Ecosystem Restoration in changing European Seas - In association with 25 other European research organisation. • Norwegian Research Council Funding Programme. Project title: AquaAccept: Developing novel socio-environmental indicators and management tools for a sustainable aquaculture • Environmental Protection Agency Science, Technology, Research & Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE) Programme 2014 Award. Project Title: Marine Ecosystem Service Valuation A full list of additional funding secured in the area of marine socio-economic research by the project team is provided.
    • Beaufort Marine Award: Sensors and Communication System for Marine Environments (BEAU SENS 2007)

      Regan, Fiona (Marine Institute, 2018)
      EU decisions 1600/2002/EC laying down the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme and EU Directive 2008/56/EC of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive) emphasise that: “The marine environment is a precious heritage that must be protected, preserved and, where practicable, restored with the ultimate aim of maintaining biodiversity and providing diverse and dynamic oceans and seas which are clean, healthy and productive.” The same directive also required that:
“Each Member State should therefore develop a marine strategy for its marine waters which, while being specific to its own waters, reflects the overall perspective of the marine region or sub-region concerned. Marine strategies should culminate in the execution of programmes of measures designed to achieve or maintain good environmental status.” In response to the EU directives to promote sustainable use of the seas and conserving marine ecosystems, the Republic of Ireland via the Department of Communications, Marine & Natural Resources launched ‘The Beaufort Marine Research Awards (BMA)’ in June 2007. This Beaufort Award ‘Sensors and Communication Systems for the Marine Environment’ aimed to develop deployable marine analytical platforms with wireless communication capability to perform autonomous sampling for extended periods of time. This multidisciplinary Beaufort team includes skillsets of chemistry, sensing, separation science, molecular biology, engineering and image analysis contributing to six research sub-programmes or workpackages. The BMA project started in 2007 at DCU. In 2010 the Marine and Environmental Sensing Technology Hub (MESTECH) was established as a result of the growing expertise in marine sensing technology and monitoring in DCU. A MESTECH website was developed (, and MESTECH actively engaged with social media technologies such as Twitter to significantly increase the international and national profile of our marine research and the BMA. The project has published >70 peer-reviewed papers. BMA members have presented >70 conferences and workshop papers or posters, >10 invited talks and several visits to other marine research laboratories have taken place. Collaborations with other marine research institutions and with industries operating within marine sector across EU, US and Asia have been formed. These national/ international collaborations facilitate technical and knowledge exchanges that are important in promoting the research capability of Ireland, and would facilitate Irish companies in accessing new technologies to contribute towards building the future economy. These collaborations are also the basis of forming international consortia for 10 future non-exchequer funding applications. In addition to the academic achievements and growing network of collaborators, the outputs of the research include novel chemical and biosensing platforms, a significant long-term dataset from a variety of sites, data analytics platforms for decision support tool development and novel materials for marine and other applications. Despite these successes, there is still much to do to achieve the ultimate goal of promoting Ireland as a leading marine research nation and more resources (both financial and human resources) are required to bring the current work forward to sustain long-term, high-quality research. The Beaufort PIs and management team have been very active in funding applications. Greater than €5 million funding was secured since the start of the BMA programme from agencies including FP7 programme, QUESTOR and national agencies such as IRCSET, SFI, EI, HEA and EPA leveraging the success of the BMA programme.
    • The Irish Maritime Transport Economist Volume 15

      Irish Maritime Development Office (Irish Maritime Development Office, 2018)
    • Celtic Sea Herring Acoustic Survey Cruise Report 2018, 08 - 28 October, 2018

      O'Donnell, C.; Mullins, E.; Lynch, D.; Lyons, K.; Keogh, N.; O'Callaghan, S. (Marine Institute, 2018)
      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.
    • Monitoring results for trace metals and organohalogens in shellfish (2015) and physicochemical parameters and trace metals in seawater (2016) in accordance with Shellfish Waters Directive. CHEMREP 2018-003

      Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2018)
      Directive 2006/113/EC on the Quality Required of Shellfish Waters, also referred to as the Shellfish Waters Directive (SWD) requires the monitoring of, inter alia, certain physicochemical parameters including trace metal contaminants in order to assess and protect the quality of shellfish growing waters and the shellfish harvested from them. The SWD is concerned with the quality of shellfish waters and applied waters designated by the Member States as needing protection or improvement in order to support shellfish (bivalve and gastropod molluscs) life and growth and thus to contribute to the high quality of shellfish products directly edible by man. This report details the Marine Institute’s (MI) monitoring results for physicochemical parameters sampled in seawater and shellfish tissue from designated Shellfish Waters and specifically: Dissolved trace metal concentrations and other physiochemical parameters in seawater sampled from Irish Shellfish Waters in 2016 and trace metal and organohalogen concentrations in shellfish sampled in 2015.
    • The Stock Book 2018: Annual Review of Fish Stocks in 2018 with Management Advice for 2019

      Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2018)
      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.
    • Summary Report on 2017 Residue Monitoring of Irish Farmed Finfish and 2017 Border Inspection Post Fishery Product Testing undertaken at the Marine Institute

      Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2018-11-27)
      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. The outcome for residues levels in farmed finfish during 2017 remains one of consistently low occurrence. In 2017, in excess of 775 tests and a total of 2,250 measurements were carried out on 141 samples of farmed finfish for a range of chemical substances, including banned and unauthorised substances, various authorised veterinary treatments and environmental contaminants.
    • Western European Shelf Pelagic Acoustic Survey (WESPAS) 10 June – 24 July, 2018

      O'Donnell, C.; O’Malley, M.; Lynch, D.; Mullins, E.; Keogh, N.; Power, J.; Long, A.; Croot, P. (Marine Institute, 2018)
      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 to 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 and since then have been 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. 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 2018. 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 2019.
    • Porcupine Bank Nephrops Grounds (FU16) 2018 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2019

      Doyle, J.; O'Brien, S.; Ryan, G.; Galligan, S.; Hernon, P.; Aristegui, M.; Vacherot, J.P.; Lordan, C. (Marine Institute, 2018)
      This report provides the results of the sixth 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 69 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 2018, adjusted for edge effect, was 0.16 burrows/m². The final krigged abundance estimate was 1117 million burrows with a relative standard error of 4% and an estimated stock area of 7,130 km2. The 2018 abundance estimate was 31% higher than in 2017. Using the 2018 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch of 2,645 tonnes and landings of 2,645 tonnes in 2019 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 33% of the stations surveyed.
    • Western Irish Sea Nephrops Grounds (FU15) 2018 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2019

      Clements, A.; Butler, R.; Doyle, J.; Ourens, R.; Lordan, C.; McCorriston, P.; Burns, G.; McCausland, I.; Erskine, K.; Lilley, K.; Heaney, G.; Lundy, M.; Schön, P.J. (Marine Institute, 2018)
      This report provides the main results and findings of the 16th 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 2018 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 4.9 billion burrows. This was a similar result of that obtained in 2011, and 9% lower than the abundance in 2017. In contrast to 2017 the spatial distribution of burrows appears more homogenous across the survey area, with high densities in the SW of the ground in shallower water, and higher densities in the NW of the ground in deep water. 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 2018 implies a total catch option at Fmsy (=Fmax) of 11,107 tonnes which results in landings of no more than 8,959 tonnes. The sea-pen species observed in 2018 was predominantly Virgularia mirabilis, with one potential observation of Pennatula phosphorea (which requires verification). Sea-pens were observed at 20% of stations with high densities observed in the south-west of the ground. Trawl marks were noted at 26% of the UWTV stations.
    • The Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks Nephrops Grounds (FU20-21) 2018 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2019.

      Doyle, J.; Aristegui, M.; Hannify, O.; White, J.; Fee, D.; McCorriston, P. (Marine Institute, 2018)
      This report provides the main results of the 2018 underwater television survey on the ‘Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 20-21. This was the fifth survey to achieve full coverage of the full area. The 2018 survey was multidisciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, and other ecosystem data. A total of 96 UWTV stations were completed at 6 nm intervals over a randomised isometric grid design. The mean burrow density was 0.27 burrows/m2 compared with 0.44 burrows/m2 in 2017. The 2018 geostatistical abundance estimate was 2.7±0.006 billion, a 39% decrease on the abundance for 2017, with a CV of 4% which is well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS 2012. High densities were observed throughout the ground, and also close to boundaries. Using the 2018 abundance estimate and updated stock data implies catch of 5,320 t and landings of 4,325 t in 2019 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2015–2017). One species of sea-pen (Virgularia mirabilis) were recorded as present at the stations surveyed. Trawl marks were observed at 33% of the stations surveyed.
    • The “Smalls” Nephrops Grounds (FU22) 2018 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2019.

      Aristegui, M.; O’ Brien, S.; Blaszkowski, M.; O’Connor, S.; Fitzgerald, R.; Doyle, J. (Marine Institute, 2018)
      This report provides the main results and findings of the thirteenth 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 42 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 9%, was well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS (ICES, 2012). The 2018 abundance estimate was 45% lower than in 2017 and at 876 million is below the MSY Btrigger reference point (990 million). Using the 2018 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch of 2,084 tonnes and landings of 1,780 tonnes in 2019 when the MSY approach is applied (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2015–2017). Two species of sea pens were recorded as present at the stations surveyed: Virgularia mirabilis and Pennatula phosphorea. Trawl marks were observed at 55% of the stations surveyed. Nine beam trawl tows were carried out, providing important data on the benthic communities and size structure of the Nephrops population.
    • FU19 Nephrops grounds 2018 UWTV survey report and catch scenarios for 2019.

      Aristegui, M.; O’Brien, S.; Blaszkowski, M.; O’Connor, S.; Fitzgerald, R.; Doyle, J. (Marine Institute, 2018)
      This report provides the main results of the ninth underwater television survey of the various Nephrops patches in Functional Unit 19. The survey was multidisciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, multi-beam and other ecosystem data. In 2018 a total 42 UWTV stations were successfully completed. The mean density estimates varied considerably across the different patches. The 2018 raised abundance estimate was a 65% decrease from the 2017 estimate and at 176 million burrows is below the MSY Btrigger (430 million). Using the 2018 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch of 173 tonnes and landings of 130 tonnes in 2018 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2015–2017). One species of sea pen was observed; Virgularia mirabilis, which has been observed on previous surveys of FU19. Trawl marks were observed at 36% of the stations surveyed.