These reports are a collection of published preliminary research findings, survey reports and the results of small research projects.

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Irish Fisheries Bulletin

Recent Submissions

  • National survey of sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis Kroyer and Caligus elongatus Nordmann) on fish farms in Ireland - 2016

    O'Donohoe, P.; Kane, F.; Kelly, S.; McDermott, T.; D'Arcy, J.; Casserly, J.; Nixon, P.; Jackson, D. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    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.
  • National Survey of Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis Kroyer and Caligus elongatus Nordmann) on Fish Farms in Ireland - 2015

    O'Donohoe, P.; Kane, F.; Kelly, S.; McDermott, T.; Drumm, A.; Nixon, P.; Jackson, D. (Marine Institute, 2016)
    This bulletin reports on the National Sea Lice Monitoring Programme carried out by the Marine Institute in 2015. Results presented in this report are mean ovigerous sea lice levels and mean mobile sea lice levels for Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus elongatus.
  • National Survey of Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis Kroyer and Caligus elongatus Nordmann) on Fish Farms in Ireland - 2014

    O'Donohoe, P.; Kane, F.; Kelly, S.; McDermott, T.; Drumm, A.; Jackson, D. (Marine Institute, 2015)
    This bulletin reports on the National Sea Lice Monitoring Programme carried out by the Marine Institute in 2014. Results presented in this report are mean ovigerous sea lice levels and mean mobile sea lice levels for Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus elongatus.
  • National Survey of Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis Kroyer and Caligus elongatus Nordmann) on Fish Farms in Ireland - 2013

    O'Donohoe, P; Kane, F; Kelly, S; McDermott, T; Drumm, A; Jackson, D (Marine Institute, 2014)
    This bulletin reports on the National Sea Lice Monitoring Programme carried out by the Marine Institute in 2013. Results presented in this report are mean ovigerous sea lice levels and mean mobile sea lice levels for Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus elongatus.
  • Report on Sea Lice Epidemiology and Management in Ireland with Particular Reference to Potential Interactions with Wild Salmon (Salmo salar) and Freshwater Pearl Mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) Populations

    Jackson, D.; O’Donohoe, P.; McDermott, T.; Kane, F.; Kelly, S.; Drumm, A. (Marine Institute, 2013)
    In 2009 two Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) submitted a legal complaint (Anon. 2009 a) against Ireland to the EU Commission (EU Pilot Case 764/09/ENV1). The substance of the complaint was that Ireland was failing to comply with the Habitats Directive and the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive in three named fisheries; the Delphi (Bundorragha River), the Newport Fishery (Newport River) and the Ballynahinch Fishery (Ballynahinch River). The complainants also cited a failure to protect both the salmon (Salmo salar) and the freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera). In responding to the complaint a detailed scientific investigation was undertaken. Long term research and specifically commissioned studies were accessed and their data drawn on to ensure a comprehensive and accurate response based on the best available scientific data and information. This report sets out this information, together with the associated studies and data which formed the basis of the scientific response to the complaint. The complaint was closed in favour of the State on the 11th of October 2012.
  • An Inventory of Irish Herring Spawning Grounds

    O’Sullivan, D.; O’Keefe, E.; Berry, A.; Tully, O.; Clarke, M. (Marine Institute, 2013)
    Herring, an important commercial and forage species in Irish waters, are benthic spawners and specifically rely on gravel and/or rock on which to lay their eggs. The present study collates information from both the fishing industry and seabed surveys (INFOMAR) to produce a detailed inventory of individual herring spawning beds, grounds and areas around the coast of the Republic of Ireland.
  • National Survey of Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis Kroyer and Caligus elongatus Nordmann) on Fish Farms in Ireland - 2012

    O'Donohoe, P.; Kane, F.; Kelly, S.; McDermott, T.; Drumm, A.; Jackson, D. (Marine Institute, 2013)
    This bulletin reports on the National Sea Lice Monitoring Programme carried out by the Marine Institute in 2012. Results presented in this report are mean ovigerous sea lice levels and mean mobile sea lice levels for Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus elongatus.
  • National Survey of Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis Kroyer and Caligus elongatus Nordmann) on Fish Farms in Ireland - 2011

    O'Donohoe, P.; Kane, F.; Kelly, S.; McDermott, T.; Drumm, A.; Jackson, D. (Marine Institute, 2012)
    This bulletin reports on the National Sea Lice Monitoring Programme carried out by the Marine Institute in 2011. Results presented in this report are mean ovigerous sea lice levels and mean mobile sea lice levels for Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus elongatus.
  • Irish fisheries-science research partnership trawl survey of the Porcupine Bank Nephrops Grounds July 2010

    Stokes, D.; Lordan, C. (Marine Institute, 2011)
    The Nephrops fishery on the Porcupine Bank takes place on a large area, approximately 7000km2, of complex muddy habitat between depths of 300 to 470m. Irish effort has been increasing and Ireland is now responsible for the majority of the landings. The scientific advice has indicated that the stock has declined and fishing mortality should be reduced to the lowest possible level. This Irish Fisheries Science Research Partnership (IFSRP) survey was developed in 2010 to address the pressing need for data from the closed area established by the EC between 1st May to 31st July 2010. 46 hauls were carried out and the results indicate high CPUE for the survey relative to recent observations for the fleet. Strong patterns in size and sex ratio were observed spatially. The male biased sex ratio and size-at-maturity are similar to historical observation. The size distributions of the catches are very different to the Spanish survey in the area which took place two months later. The utility of the survey for monitoring the stock is discussed.
  • Development of the Irish Eel Fishery: Proceedings of a National Workshop - Dun Laoghaire, 7 July 1998

    Watson, L. (ed); Moriarty, C. (ed); Gargan, P. (ed) (Marine Institute, 1999)
    Increasing awareness of the value of eel fishing led to a decision by the Minister for the Marine to formulate a national eel strategy. As a contribution to the necessary gathering of views and information, the principal authorities concerned convened an Eel Management Workshop on 7th July 1998 at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire. The Workshop was co-hosted by an Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Marine Institute (MI) and the Central Fisheries Board (CFB), and was attended by 100 participants representing all sectors, including the eel fisheries and co-operatives, eel farmers, eel processors and smokers, the regional fisheries hoards and the state development and regulatory agencies from both sides of the border. It was decided to hold a workshop on eel to heighten awareness of this most intriguing and valuable resource in Ireland, and to establish the baseline data for a national strategy for the development of the Irish eel fishery to be announced by the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources during 1998.
  • Catch analysis of shrimp Palaemon serratus (Pennant) taken by different mesh sizes

    Fahy, E.; Forrestt, N.; Oakley, L. (Marine Institute, 1998)
    Five mesh sizes were used to sample shrimp Palaemon serratus at depths of less than 30 m in Bantry Bay, southwest Ireland from June 1996 to March 1997. All of the meshes, with the exception of the smallest (2.5 mm) were made up of polyethylene and they were distributed over a gang of 20 Chinesehat-ended creels which were fished on fourteen occasions throughout the period which overlapped with the commercial fishing season. Some 5,000 shrimp were captured and the size distribution of the total catch per month reflected the growth of the species so it is supposed that the population was representatively sampled throughout. Selection was calculated using the alternate hauls method. Shrimps did not enter the pots in any numbers below the length of 50 mm (total length) and mesh selection could not he demonstrated at a mesh size of 5.2 mm. Thereafter, as the mesh sizes were ascended, selectivity became more significant. It was however weak; Lc values ranged between 58-75 mm for females and 71-88 mm total lengths for males for mesh sizes of 7.5 - 13.5 mm. These lengths coincide with the centre of the length frequency distribution of shrimp. As the mesh size increased, the ratio of females to males rose, but the numbers per haul declined abruptly in the 13.5 mm mesh.
  • The European eel fishery in 1993 and 1994

    Moriarty, C. (Marine Institute, 1996)
    A group of 17 experts, representing 9 member states of the EU, undertook in March 1995 the Concerted Action AIR A94-1939 entitled Enhancement of the European eel fishery and conservation of the species. This paper presents the results of the first phase of the study which aimed to compile a database of information on the eel in the 9 states. The total annual yield of European eel was estimated to lie between 20,000 t and 30,000 t. Glass eels account for 4% of the total by weight and 33% by value. The value of the catch as paid to the fisherman was estimated at 180 M ECU and with value added as 375 M ECU. Manpower engaged fulltime in eel fishing was relatively low, fewer than 500 individuals. Numbers engaged part-time totalled at least 25,000. Although rarely providing the mainstay of a fishing community, the eel made a sociological contribution out of all proportion to its cash value. Yields greater than 5 kg per hectare were attained in a variety of habitats throughout the region. The highest yields per hectare recorded were 324 kg in one Italian coastal lagoon, 75 kg in another, 52 kg in a French Mediterranean lagoon and 40 kg in a Norwegian river and lake system. The yield from most fisheries was less than 5 kg per ha. This implied that proper management could greatly increase yields throughout the geographical range of the species. Between 2 and 3 billion young eels were captured annually, of which more than 95% were killed for consumption at that young stage, while less than 5% were harvested at later stages or left to contribute to the breeding stock. The implication was that adequate glass eels existed for a greatly enhanced stocking programme. Many eel fisheries had declined in the course of the previous twenty years, the principal factors appearing to be recruitment failure and inadequate management measures. Eel fishing can be undertaken with a low capital investment and provides important opportunities for work in communities where unemployment is high.
  • The western spurdog Squalus acanthias L. fishery in 1989 and 1990, with observations on the further development of the gillnet fishery directed on the species

    Fahy, 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.
  • Management of the European Eel

    Moriarty, C. (ed); Dekker, W. (ed) (Marine Institute, 1997)
    Concern expressed by fishermen, fish culturists and scientists alike on the decline in recruitment and fishery yields of the eel led to the establishment of a working group, EC Concerted Action AIR A94-1939, to pursue a project entitled Enhancement of the European eel fishery and conservation of the species. Scientists from ten countries have contributed to the current report and its predecessor, published in 1996. The reports present an account of the eel fishery together with scientific data of significance in control of the stocks and make recommendations for future management.
  • National Survey of Sea lice (L. salmonis Krøyer and C. elongatus Nordmann) on Fish Farms in Ireland – 2008

    O'Donohoe, P.; Kane, F.; Kelly, S.; Nixon, P.; Power, A.; Naughton, O.; Tully, D.; Jackson, D. (Marine Institute, 2009)
    This bulletin reports on the National Sea Lice Monitoring Programme carried out by the Marine Institute in 2008. Results presented in this report are mean ovigerous sea lice levels and mean mobile sea lice levels for Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus elongatus
  • National Survey of Sea lice (L. salmonis Krøyer and C. elongatus Nordmann) on Fish Farms in Ireland – 2007

    O'Donohoe, P.; Kane, F.; Kelly, S.; Nixon, P.; Power, A.; Naughton, O.; Jackson, D. (Marine Institute, 2008)
    This bulletin reports on the National Sea Lice Monitoring Programme carried out by the Marine Institute in 2007. Results presented in this report are mean ovigerous sea lice levels and mean mobile sea lice levels for Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus elongatus
  • National Survey of Sea lice (L. salmonis Krøyer and C. elongatus Nordmann) on Fish Farms in Ireland – 2006

    O'Donohoe, P.; Kane, F.; Kennedy, S.; Nixon, P.; Power, A.; Naughton, O.; Jackson, D. (Marine Institute, 2007)
    This bulletin reports on the National Sea Lice Monitoring Programme carried out by the Marine Institute in 2006. Results presented in this report are mean ovigerous sea lice levels and mean mobile sea lice levels for Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus elongatus
  • National Survey of Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis Krøyer and Caligus elongatus Nordmann) on Fish Farms in Ireland – 2005

    O'Donohoe, P.; Kane, F.; Kennedy, S.; Naughton, O.; Nixon, P.; Power, A.; Jackson, D. (Marine Institute, 2006)
    This bulletin reports on the National Sea Lice Monitoring Programme carried out by the Marine Institute in 2005. Results presented in this report are mean ovigerous sea lice levels and mean mobile sea lice levels for Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus elongatus
  • National Survey of Sea Lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis Krøyer and Caligus elongatus Nordmann) on Fish Farms in Ireland – 2004

    O'Donohoe, P.; Kennedy, S.; Kane, F.; Naughton, O.; Tierney, D.; Jackson, D. (Marine Institute, 2005)
    This bulletin reports on the National Sea Lice Monitoring Programme carried out by the Marine Institute in 2004. Results presented in this report are mean ovigerous sea lice levels and mean mobile sea lice levels for Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus elongatus
  • Validation of Standard Weights and Raising Coefficients for Discard Estimation: Report of a Survey Aboard MFV Roisin Bairbre

    Smith, T.; Comerford, S.; Officer, R. (Marine Institute, 2007)
    This survey was carried out to verify the Marine Institute's discard sampling protocol and the standard weights and conversion factors used when calculating discard rates. The MFV Roisin Bairbre was chartered to fish as normal on the Aran Prawn Grounds using twin rig prawn gear. The entire bulk catch was weighed, as well as the entire retained catch, thereby getting an accurate rate of discarding for this trip, as well as accurate individual basket weights. Retained catch was also weighed by species prior to and after gutting, to check the raising factors used when changing gutted landings back to round. This survey showed that the rate of discarding for this trip was 62% of the total bulk catch. There was no significant difference between the measured bulk catch weighed and the estimated bulk catch derived from using the standard weights. This validates the standard weights used. There was no significant differences between the observed conversion factors (from gutted to whole weight) and those currently used routinely in weight conversions. A standard weight for big baskets of bulk catch on a fish directed trip of 34.5 kg, and 28kg for a Nephrops directed trip were achieved.

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