Recent Submissions

  • Supply of Vertebrate Necropsy and Sample Recovery Services 2017-2018 & 2019 Merged Final Reports

    Levesque, Stephanie; O'Donovan, Jim; Daly, Mags; Murphy, Sinéad; O'Connell, Mick; Jepson, Paul; Deaville, Rob; Barnett, James; Berrow, S.D. (Marine Institute, 2021)
    The Marine Institute (MI) issued a tender for the Supply of Vertebrate Necropsy and Sample Recovery Services Tender to cover the period of June 2017 to December 2017 (ITT17-024). They then requested an extension of this contract to continue throughout the period of January to March 2018. Following this extension, a second contract was issued to cover the period April to December 2018 (ITT18-005). The results of these two contracts have been merged for the purposes of this report. These tenders required i) the recovery and standardised necropsy of three cetacean species with associated case history reporting, ii) the provision of sampling kits to be used for the recovery of tissue samples collected from bycaught animals (birds, seals and cetaceans) by observers on commercial inshore and offshore fishing vessels in Irish waters in order to provide additional data to the MI’s existing catch sampling programme and iii) the storage and subsequent delivery of all samples and associated databases to the client.
  • The Distribution and Abundance of Elasmobranch Fish in Tralee, Brandon and Dingle Bays in 2018-2019

    Tully, Oliver; Palma-Pedraza, S.; Clarke, Maurice; Keane, Julie (Marine Institute, 2021)
    Surveys of skates and rays were undertaken in Tralee, Brandon and Dingle Bays in north Kerry during 2018 and 2019. The area was previously shown, from angling records and more recent shore surveys of egg cases, to support a high diversity of these species some of which are critically endangered in Ireland, the Atlantic or globally. Twelve species were recorded in the area and their geographic and seasonal distribution is described in this report. Their relative abundance in the surveys confirms their presence in the Tralee Bay area and the importance of that area as a refuge for them. Three of the species recorded, angel shark, blue skate and flapper skate are critically endangered globally. White skate was not recorded in the surveys but a single individual was captured separately in commercial tangle nets in 2018 in the area. This species is critically endangered in the Atlantic. Data from other broad scale fisheries surveys and fisheries sampling at sea, not reported here, confirm that these species are rarely found elsewhere. In addition, and in order of abundance, thornback ray, painted ray, sting ray, undulate ray, blonde ray, spotted ray, spurdog, tope and greater spotted dogfish were recorded. Endangered species of skates and rays are listed on various species red lists internationally and are prohibited species (from being landed) under Common Fisheries Policy regulations. The main source of mortality is from fishing. The current regulations, however, do not necessarily remove this source of impact because accidental by-catch and mortality can still occur. Populations that are at critically low levels locally are unlikely to be able to sustain this additional mortality and there is an ongoing risk of local extinction. Effective protection and restoration will need to consider additional measures such as marine protected areas or other mitigations of the effects of fisheries where they pose a high risk to the viability of local populations. Waters off north Kerry are important internationally as they hold some of the last remaining refuges for angel shark and white skate.
  • EMFF Coastal Sediments Project – Achill Bay Survey Report

    O'Sullivan, David; INFOMAR (Marine Institute, 2021)
    There is an ongoing requirement for high resolution substrate maps that accurately depict the sediment properties of the seabed and improve our knowledge of the marine environment. This Coastal Sediment Sampling Project, funded by the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF), will conduct intense sediment sampling and environmental data collection (including video) surveys on areas of interest in Ireland’s coastal waters to develop high resolution sediment maps, create habitat maps and support ancillary EMFF projects coordinated by the Marine Institute. Achill Bay was selected as the first leg of this survey programme as no multibeam data exists within the inner bay and a significant number of sediment samples were required to create accurate seabed classification charts and habitat maps. A strategic sampling campaign will target and retrieve sediment samples for Particle Size Analysis and increase the accuracy of key derived products such as substrate and habitat maps which are key to supporting Ireland’s Marine Spatial Plan, and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, identified as priority action(s) of the EMFF Operational Programme. The primary aim of this survey was to conduct a ground-truthing sampling survey of Achill Bay and acquire sediment samples from predefined locations. In addition, video ground-truthing will be conducted using a GoPro camera and frame for manual deployment
  • EMFF Coastal Sediments Project – Offshore Sampling Survey Report, December 2021

    O'Sullivan, David; INFOMAR (Marine Institute, 2021)
    There is an ongoing requirement for high resolution substrate maps that accurately depict the sediment properties of the seabed and improve our knowledge of the marine environment. A Coastal Sediment Sampling Project, funded by the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and led by INFOMAR, was established to conduct intense sediment sampling and environmental data collection (including video) surveys on areas of interest in Ireland’s coastal waters to develop high resolution sediment, substrate and habitat maps, increase the accuracy of these key derived products and support ancillary EMFF projects coordinated by the Marine Institute. Furthermore, this strategic campaign will support Ireland’s Marine Spatial Plan, and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, identified as priority action(s) of the EMFF Operational Programme. This report details the second leg of the EMFF Coastal Sediment Sampling Project which was conducted in offshore coastal waters of the Irish Sea and along Irelands south coast. Five sampling areas were chosen of which three were surveyed, with each area requiring additional sediment data in order to increase the resolution of existing seabed classification charts. The primary aim of this survey was to retrieve sediment samples for Particle Size Analysis from these selected areas to increase the accuracy of relevant substrate and habitat maps.
  • Sensitive Ecosystem Assessment and ROV Exploration of Reef (SeaRover), Synthesis Report

    Picton, B.; Morrow, C.; Scally, L.; Pfeiffer, N.; McGrath, Fergal (Marine Institute, 2021)
    an extensive offshore reef survey of Ireland’s continental slope was commissioned by the Marine Institute in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), and coordinated and led by INFOMAR (Integrated Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resources). The objectives of the survey were to implement the EMFF’s Marine Biodiversity Scheme - Natura Fisheries, by mapping offshore reef habitats with a view to protecting them from deterioration due to fishing pressures. The reef project aligns with sub-article 6.2 of the Habitats Directive (EC 92/43/EEC) which requires member states to take measures to avoid deterioration of protected habitats. The Sensitive Ecosystem Assessment and ROV Exploration of Reef (SeaRover) survey took place between 2017 to 2019. The 2017 and 2018 surveys took place onboard the ILV Granuaile whilst the third survey leg in 2019 employed the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer. The Marine Institute’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Holland I was used for each of these cruises. The Holland I was equipped with a high-definition (HD) camera, various composite video feeds and a robotic arm for sample collection. The primary aim of the survey was to map the distribution and abundance of biogenic and geogenic reef habitat along Ireland’s continental margin using HD video.