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Aquaculture Management

Recent Submissions

  • Options for Marine Leisure Development in Waterford Estuary

    Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2001-08)
    During 2000-2001 the Marine Institute, the national agency charged with responsibility for co-ordinating marine research in Ireland, participated in an Interreg IIc Project - MAYA - Marinas and Yachting in the North West Metropolitan Area. A key objective of this European project was to develop a spatial vision for marina developments in a city, estuary and sensitive coastal environments. As part of this project, the Institute commissioned a study of Waterford Estuary, which would: (1)assess the socio-economic impact of Waterford city marina; (2)develop a strategy for increasing marine leisure activity within the estuary; (3)propose guidelines for planning new marina developments.
  • Guidelines for Planning a Marina Development

    Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2001-07)
    Marine Leisure and boating is an increasingly popular activity in Irish coastal waters. An ESRI (1996) survey indicated that many more people could be encouraged to participate in coastal boating and watersports if facilities were improved. These facilities can range from simple structures such as slipways and floating pontoons to large scale marina complexes. In response to the growing demand for better facilities, funding will be provided under the National Development Plan 2000-2006 for the upgrading or enhancement of coastal facilities and the development of new facilities. This funding will be administered by the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources. The Marine Institute is the national agency charged with responsibility for co-ordinating marine research in Ireland. During 2000-2001 the Marine Institute participated in an Interreg IIc Project MAYA – Marinas and Yachting in the North West Metropolitan area. A key objective of this European project was to develop common standards for marina development. As part of this project, the Institute commissioned Brady Shipman Martin, Kirk McClure Morton and Fitzpatrick Associates to assess planning, technical and safety issues relevant to marina development. The resulting publication, Guidelines for Planning a Marina Development illustrates the steps to be taken when preparing an application for Planning Permission and a Foreshore Lease/Permission for a coastal marina development. The guidelines highlight that the development of marine leisure infrastructure is a process which requires careful planning. Consultation, particularly at an early stage, with both the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources and the relevant Local Authority on key issues such as planning policy, navigation, safety, and conservation designations can greatly enhance the prospect of achieving a successful marina development.
  • Clean Coasts/Clean Seas

    Tambini, L; Dubsky, K; Jones, B (Marine Institute, 2001-12)
    Clean Seas/Clean Coasts was an INTERREG IIA partnership project between Keep Wales Tidy and Coastwatch Ireland. The ultimate aim of the project was to reduce the input of marine litter and oil to the Irish Sea and onto the shores of the West Coast of Wales and the East Coast of Ireland. This was to be achieved by litter awareness raising events, collecting of marine litter/ oil data and disseminating information on impacts of marine pollution, as well as legislation on marine waste management and best practice prevention. In this context, partners jointly focussed on port waste plans and facilities.
  • Clean Seas Project Harbour Survey Report (Ireland)

    Dubsky, K; Tierney, A (Marine Institute, 2001-12)
    The aims of this EU co-funded INTERREG project were to help minimise waste discharge and loss from boats and harbours into the sea and to improve waste management practices in the Maritime INTERREG-IIA area. The project relied mainly on awareness raising work, including gathering and providing information on the level of littering, oil pollution and waste disposal methods, legislation and best practise. The partners - Keep Wales Tidy and Coastwatch Ireland - instigated and participated in clean up action and helped install model waste reception facilities. Harbours in Wales and Ireland were visited by a Galway Hooker - the Clionna na Toinne - Coastwatch Ireland’s “Green Boat”. Joint boat events were supplemented by individual initiatives on both coasts. The present report covers the final Irish partner contribution to the project.
  • Assessment of Human Activity in the Coastal Zone

    Connolly, N; Buchanan, C; O'Connell, M; Cronin, M; O'Mahony, C; Sealy, H (Marine Institute, 2001-12)
    The Irish Sea Science Co-ordination Group (ISSCG) identified human impacts on the coastal zone as a priority area for collaborative Irish Sea marine environmental research and protection (Boelens, 1995). The identification of trends in human use of the coastal zone is considered to be an essential prerequisite to better planning of measures to manage particular activities. The study presented here on trends in human activity in coastal zones of the Maritime INTERREG II region of the southern Irish Sea was carried out by the Coastal Resources Centre (CRC) in University College, Cork, and the Centre for Research into Environment and Health (CREH) in the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. The study considered aspects of development and human impacts within the coastal zone. Once trends relating to human activities were identified, and where possible quantified, associated impacts and issues were also assessed and quantified. Trends and impacts were identified by sector, in keeping with the format adopted in the environmental assessment report entitled Ireland’s Marine and Coastal Areas and adjacent Seas (Boelens et al., 1999). Sectoral trends examined in the present study included those in demography, development, tourism, urbanisation, marine pollution, offshore resources, etc. The attributes of the associated data were assessed in relation to the purposes for which they are used, and gaps and limitations were identified. Recommendations on appropriate management measures necessary to promote sustainable use of coastal zones were made. In actuality, data on human impacts on the coastal zone of the Irish Sea are not available in an integrated form. Agencies involved in making policy decisions or in managing the use of coastal marine resources often experience difficulties in obtaining reliable information on key factors. During the preparation of this report, data were difficult to source, and when sourced they were rarely in a format suitable for analysis with regard to relevance to the coastal zone. The study concluded that the quality of information available is variable and not conducive to a systematic, comparative analysis of combined impacts of activities on the coastal zone. The information and statistics that are collected by state agencies are intended to meet the needs of specific sectoral or geographical interests, and are not necessarily appropriate for extrapolation to issues of relevance to the coastal zone. The lack of availability of information in a format suitable for assessing the characteristics of the coastal zone as an entity may be indicative of the lack of recognition, on both sides of the Irish Sea, of coastal zone management as a discipline. This limitation is identified in the draft coastal zone management policy for Ireland (Brady Shipman Martin, 1997) as the principal element to be addressed for effective future planning. The findings of the current project suggest that this limitation remains. Similarly in Wales, no single body is responsible for coastal zone management. Neither is there an agreed framework within which policy and planning can be properly integrated. Without such a thematic focus in either country it is difficult to ensure the collection and collation of pertinent data and information. Such information is imperative for making effective policy and management decisions for the coastal zone of the Irish Sea. Throughout this study, differences with regard to issues of relevance to the Irish and Welsh coasts became apparent. For example, the Welsh coast has not experienced the same extent of population pressures, development, resort renewal, habitat loss etc. commonplace in Ireland. In comparison, Wales has several coastal fora that provide a focus for co-operation between regulatory agencies and local stakeholders; this concept is as yet undeveloped in Ireland. The report assesses the impact of human activities on the coastal zone and contains recommendations related to data and information needs for effective coastal zone management, as well as sector-specific recommendations. Implementation of the recommendations of the project will be of benefit to the work of policy makers, resource managers and planners with responsibilities in the coastal zone, on both sides of the Irish Sea.
  • Grey Seals: Status and Monitoring in the Irish and Celtic Seas

    Kierly, O; Lidgard, D; McKibben, M; Connolly, N; Baines, M (Marine Institute, 2000-06)
    The population size and seasonal distribution of grey seals at principal haul-out sites in the central and southern Irish Sea were investigated in a co-ordinated transnational study conducted between 1996 and 1998. Concurrent studies on human interactions with this population focused on Seal - Fisheries interactions in the western Irish Sea and eastern Celtic Sea, and on the impacts of the Sea Empress oil spill and eco-tourism on breeding colonies in the eastern Irish Sea.
  • Roseate Terns - The Natural Connection

    Newton, S F; Crowe, O (Marine Institute, 2000-04)
    Prerequisites for successful seabird reproduction are secure nesting sites, reliable food supply and reasonable weather. In late 1996, Maritime Ireland / Wales INTERREG Programme agreed to fund a three year programme focussed on research and conservation action at Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii breeding colonies in the Irish Sea under Measure 1.3: “Protection of the Marine and Coastal Environment and Marine Emergency Planning”. All the colonies in the area were included: Rockabill, Lady’s Island Lake, the Dalkey Islands (all in Ireland) and Ynys Feurig, Skerries, Cemlyn Bay and Inland Sea (all on Anglesey in Wales). This report reviews progress at these colonies and gives more detail on the research carried out at the core breeding population at Rockabill and to a lesser extent at Lady's Island Lake.
  • Marine Mammal Strandings

    Rogan, E; Penrose, R; Gassner, I; Mackey, M J; Clayton, P (Marine Institute, 2001-12)
    Since the 1980s, there has been growing concern about the health of marine mammal populations in coastal waters and in particular with respect to a decline in harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) numbers. A variety of possible causes have been proposed including infectious diseases, changes in food supply, pollution and entanglement in fishing gear. Recent studies linking contaminant data with disease levels in cetaceans suggest that higher contaminant levels are generally found in animals with a higher number of diseases i.e. that chronic exposure to PCBs or trace metals negatively influences the health status of some cetacean species by predisposing individuals to mortality associated with infectious disease (Jepson et al., 1999; Siebert et al., 1999). The reverse may also be true, that high levels of disease may disable the animal to the extent that coping with contaminants is not possible and toxins accumulate. The potentially serious role of infectious disease was demonstrated by the phocine distemper epidemic of 1987, which killed approximately 18,000 common seals (Phoca vitulina) in the North Sea and adjacent waters (Kennedy, 1990) and by the subsequent morbillivirus epidemic in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) in the Mediterranean sea (Domingo et al., 1990). Rejinders (1986) and Brouwer et al. (1989) demonstrated that feeding captive common seals with fish caught in highly polluted waters had deleterious effects on their health and there was speculation that pollution may have been a factor in the severity of these epidemics (Aguilar and Raga, 1990, Aguilar and Borrell, 1994, deSwart et al., 1994). Relatively little work on the health status and contaminant loadings in cetacean and pinniped populations in the Irish Sea has been undertaken to date (e.g., Morris et al., 1989, Law et al., 1995, Berrow et al., 1998a). Given the need for such data from relatively "high-medium" polluted waters (e.g., the Irish Sea) such a data collection programme is highly desirable. For a large number of cetacean and seal species, the only way to assess their health status and contaminant loadings, bar live capture and/or killing them, is through a Strandings Programme. Such programmes involve the recording and recovering of beach cast animals. Strandings programmes allow for some definition of the distribution of different species, but are primarily used to examine health status and to determine population parameters necessary for management decisions. Such programmes are imperative, as they allow top mammalian predators to be monitored and increase our knowledge of a number of biological parameters (for example, age, reproductive status, diet), parasites and contaminant loadings. Cause of death can reflect disease status and in the absence of observer programmes, can indicate fishing associated mortalities (by-catch).
  • Feasibility study of the use of digital cameras for water quality monitoring in the coastal zone

    Feighery, L; White, M; Bowers, D; Kelly, S; O'Riain, G; Bowyer, P (Marine Institute, 2001-11)
    The coastal zone is characteristically a turbid region of the sea with water clarity being an indicator of coastal dynamics. Turbidity affects water quality and aesthetic value. Previous investigations into water clarity in the Irish Sea have been conducted using imagery obtained from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR). Good correlations were found between light reflectance and suspended sediment concentrations from this imagery. In order to investigate suspended sediment concentrations in the coastal zone, an area where satellite imagery does not ‘see well’, scientists from NUI, Galway, UW, Bangor and Compass Informatics Ltd. undertook a feasibility study to investigate the possibilities of using both in situ and airborne digital cameras to monitor water clarity in the coastal zone. The digital cameras capture visible spectrum imagery with assigned values for red, green and blue light, thus making a quantifiable measurement of the up-welling light of different colours in a similar manner to the UW, Bangor Ocean Colour Sensor used in this project and a previous INTERREG Project (White et al.; 2000). As suspended sediment concentrations were found to correlate well with in situ digital camera output values, it was anticipated that the camera would provide a successful method of monitoring Suspended Particulate Material (SPM) at fixed locations over a predetermined time period. In practice aerial imagery did not prove to be a feasible method for SPM monitoring in the type of dynamic coastal environment under this particular survey. A combination of sun glint, sky reflectance interference, strong tidal currents and time lapse between imagery capture and in situ data collection made the calibration of images very difficult. On the positive side, it was found that aerial imagery is ideally suited to observing coastal dynamical phenomena such as river plume development. These near shore dynamical processes cannot be monitored by satellite imagery and so aerial resolution and aircraft manoeuvrability are ideal for this type of coastal zone remote sensing.
  • The Fate of Nutrients in Estuarine Plumes

    Raine, R; Williams, P J leB (Marine Institute, 2000-01)
    Estuaries are highly biologically active zones lying between freshwater and marine systems. The classical view is that materials such as nitrates and phosphates which run into rivers as a result of man’s activity are used by the planktonic algae, or phytoplankton, for growth – in some cases causing nuisance blooms of these organisms. The management of the reduction of these blooms is based on the classical assumption that the materials stimulating them are brought into the estuary by the river, and that effective control of the blooms can be achieved by setting limits on the initial discharge of these materials into rivers. Funded under the EU INTERREG II (Ireland-Wales) programme, two groups of marine scientists from the University of Wales, Bangor and the National University of Ireland, Galway made a co-operative study of the Waterford (Ireland) and Conwy (Wales) estuaries. It was found that whereas the source of nitrogen for the estuarine phytoplankton was from the rivers, the main source of phosphate was from the sea. Phytoplankton blooms were being encouraged within the plume zone near the mouth of the estuaries, a region poised between a nitrate-rich freshwater and, relatively, phosphate-rich seawater. The management consequences of the findings are profound. Phosphates contribute significantly to the pollution of rivers and lakes, systems where there is usually an abundance of nitrogen and algal growth is governed by the availability of phosphorus. Management of these freshwater systems is thus achieved through control of the input of phosphates. Results achieved during the present study show that this criterion does not apply to estuaries and estuarine blooms, as material (phosphate) supporting them comes from the seawater end of the system and is therefore obviously unmanageable. The requirement to control nitrogen (nitrate) levels in estuaries is therefore all the more important in order to properly manage phytoplankton blooms, and thus water quality, in estuaries.
  • Guide to Best Practice in Seascape Assessment

    Hill, M; Briggs, J; Minto, P; Bagnall, D; Foley, K; Williams, A (Marine Institute, 2001-03)
    Seascape is a crucial element in any maritime nation’s sense of identity and culture. It has played an important part in the history and development of Ireland and Wales. The coast and the sea is a primary holiday and leisure location and is a significant asset in a nation’s recreational resource. The coast and related seascape is a finite resource under almost continual pressure for development. In both Ireland and Wales we are currently experiencing a period of exceptional change around our coasts. The response to sea level rise is generating more proposals for coastal defence works. We have seen the development of new ports and the upgrading of existing facilities, and proposals for aquaculture schemes have become more prevalent around some coasts. Energy strategies are giving rise to wind turbine projects off both coasts. We have also become more aware of how valuable and important our seascapes are to the character and identity of much of our countryside, towns and cities. With all of these development pressures related to the coast and the sea, a systematic approach to issues raised is now timely and essential to ensure that the decision making process has the tools to deal with the upcoming changes. For these reasons development that affects our coasts and seascapes require particular attention and care. Such consideration can best be given in a structure based upon a thorough understanding of the character and values attributable to the relevant seascapes. This guide attempts to provide a methodology to deal with the issues involved.
  • Achieving EU Standards in Recreational Waters

    Bruen, M P; Crowther, J; Kay, D; Masterson, B F; O'Connor, P E; Thorp, M B; Wyer, M D; Chawla, R. (Marine Institute, 2001-11)
    In the interest of public health and amenity, the quality of bathing waters is controlled by the European Union Bathing Water Directive (1976); the well-known Blue Flag scheme is associated with this. The Directive regulates — among other parameters — the numbers of “indicator bacteria” permitted in the water; these microorganisms themselves are not an apparently significant risk to health, but they act as indicators that sewage-derived pathogenic organisms that cause illness may be present. Coastal and freshwater bathing areas are monitored regularly during the bathing season for compliance with the Directive, and the published annual reports attract much public and news-media attention. Substantial high-cost improvements to sewerage management infrastructure have been made by Local Authorities both in Ireland and Wales aimed at achieving better compliance with bathing water standards. Nevertheless, there have been continuing episodic failures to meet the indicator-bacteria standards. Recent research in the United Kingdom has indicated that substantial quantities of the offending indicator bacteria may be conveyed in surface water runoff from the catchments of rivers and small streams in response to rainfall events. There have been indications too that the use to which land in a catchment is put (pasture, forestry, urban, and so on) is reflected in the levels of indicator bacteria contributed by the land to water. Two principal questions arise: 1. Are failures to meet microbial water-quality standards for bathing areas due to rainfall-related runoff from adjacent catchments? 2. If so, is this effect related to land uses in the catchments? This report gives an account of work addressing these issues conducted in the Afon Rheidol and Afon Ystwyth catchments in north Ceredigion, Wales and in the Dargle catchment in north Co. Wicklow, Ireland. The catchments in both areas drain to the sea through harbour outlets close to bathing beaches, and the beaches have had imperfect compliance with the Bathing Water Directive in the past.