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AbstractA cockle fishery in Dundalk Bay has been infrequently documented since 1970. Cockle bearing sands and muds are 44.5 km2 in extent. The bay, which is in an SPA and a cSAC also supports large numbers of overwintering birds, of particular relevance is the oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus). In 2003 and 2004 when an assessment of the fishery was undertaken, cockles ranged from 0 to 8+ years of age, but the vast majority were 0 and 1+ animals. Growth was rapid and 53% of asymptotic length (49.1 mm) was achieved at the first winter. In agreement with observations elsewhere, the density of the rapidly growing animals was very low. The estimated cockle biomass in spring 2004 was 1,654 tonnes comprising 143 million animals. A survey undertaken in spring 2004, suggested that spat falls contributing to the population may not have been evenly distributed throughout the Bay. Condition factor in 2003 and 2004 did not conform to an expected seasonal pattern, suggesting that some parts of the area supported better growth rates than others. Cockle landings from this fishery are of good quality. Cockle size is at the upper end of the range in Britain and Ireland and the majority of individuals landed by suction dredging were 1+ years old. Raked landings contained more 2+ cockles than suction-dredged ones. Damage to cockles discarded by suction dredging followed the pattern reported elsewhere and damage rates increased with the size of the animals. Some cockle landings have probably always been made in Dundalk Bay by picking and raking, but 2001 marked the beginning of an expansion of the dredge fishery, whose landings exceeded 200 tonnes in 2004. The necessity for controls and management of this fishery in the context of EU legislation and particularly within the constraints of the Habitats Directive is briefly examined.
CitationFahy, E; Carroll, J; Murran, S, "The Dundalk Cockle Cerastoderma edule Fishery in 2003-2004", Irish fisheries investigations, No. 14, Marine Institute 2005
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The western spurdog Squalus acanthias L. fishery in 1989 and 1990, with observations on the further development of the gillnet fishery directed on the speciesFahy, E. (Department of the Marine, 1992)Between 1987 and 1990 the western fisheries of spurdog briefly harvested heavy then progressively reduced landings. These were sampled in each year. The peak and post-peak fisheries have been described and this account is of the fishery in 1989 and 1990. Although the catch per effort has declined substantially from the peak fishery, spurdog remains an important target species. The fishery is assessed from 856 individuals captured in 1989 and 688 the following year. The following criteria of sampled fish classified according to method of capture were examined: sex ratio, weight, age and a growth index. Gillnet-caught females are regarded as indicators of the broodstock which shows signs of having made some recovery from its immediate post peak condition. The Carrigaholt gill net fishery, the index fishery which has been monitored for four years, exploits a range of species by gill net, spurdog and gadoids being the principal ones to date, and it has increased its fishing capacity over the period. In 1989 and 1990 effort was directed on hake; some characteristics of these landings are given and compared with gill net caught hake from other parts of the country.
A List of Scientific and Engineering Papers by Members of the Staff of the Fisheries Division of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries 1950-1970Anon. (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1972)The Fisheries Division of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries conducts researches into many aspects of Irish fishes, fishing and fisheries and a considerable number of papers on a wide range of topics have been published over the years in a number of journals including special publications of the Department, namely Irish Fisheries Investigations Series A (Freshwater) and Series B (Marine) and Fishery Leaflets. The present leaflet gives details of papers published by members, or former members, of the Department’s staff since 1950, as a result of their official work or arising there from. In addition to the papers mentioned below members of the Department's staff have contributed to various international bodies other papers, which have not been published subsequently. The list does not, however, include papers prepared by members of the Department's staff, whilst on secondment to semi-state bodies. Some of the authors have now left the service of the Department and details are given as necessary in the following list, Details are also given of the joint authors who were never in the service of the Department.
Sea-trout and their fisheries from the Dublin Fishery DistrictFahy, E. (Department of Fisheries and Forestry, 1981)Age, length and weight data from 440 sea-run trout are described together with data from 339 parr from a small trout stream. Pre-migratory length at age was not influenced by calcium content of nursery streams. Relatively faster growth of certain year classes in particular years was observed. Mean smolt age (2.1 years) was low. Sea run fish averaged at 0.86 sea-winters, contrasting with longer lived sea-trout on the Welsh coast but early maturation was observed in both. The regression coefficient for percentage previous spawners on mean individual weight in the Irish/Celtic Seas was lower than for fish from the Atlantic. The four principal fishing centres are each supplied with sea-trout by two to four small to medium sized rivers. A proportion of the catch is likely to originate in non licensed mullet gear. The annual catch declined from a peak of four tonnes in the 1950s to stabilise at 1.5 tonnes since the 1960s. The decline coincided with an increase in the ratio of draft to drift nets.