• Aspects of the exploitation of hake Merluccius merluccius belonging to the northern stock by fleets based in Ireland

      Fahy, E.; Gleeson, P. (Department of the Marine, 1993)
      The development of the hake fishery in the ICES Divisions adjoining Ireland displays strong similarities to the fishery for megrim; Ireland's landings of hake rose from 100t per year in 1979 to 2,000t ten years later. Most hake comes from Divisions Vllg-k. The Communities Logbook of the Irish-Spanish joint venture fleet provides a short time series. CPUE by both demersal trawl and long line declined sharply between 1985 and 1991. The second quarter is the most productive of hake landings but otherwise there is no clear seasonal pattern. Hake were sampled on a half yearly basis and the fish were aged on the otoliths with a success rate of 70%. Ages in the first half were adjusted to a birth date of 1 January. Mean lengths at age were higher than those calculated by statistical methods (Normsep.). Length frequencies indicated two age groups in the discards. Methods of capturing hake have altered over the past five years, gill nets have increased their share of the Irish catch and, in 1991, were a close second to demersal trawl. Age of recruitment to the landings is 2-4 years. Discard hake was calculated at 25-163% by weight of landings per quarter in 1991, higher values coming from small-meshed nets targeting Nephrops. Survivorship curves based on aged length frequencies of hake taken by whitefish boats provided F values of between 0.40 and 0.76. These results are high and together with sharply declining CPUE would seem to suggest the part of the stock in Divisions Vllb-c and Vllg-k is more heavily fished than the stock in other parts of Sub-area VII.
    • A second assessment of the stock of megrim Lepiodorhombus whiffiagonis in Divisions Vll b, c, j and k

      Fahy, E.; Gleeson, P. (Department of the Marine, 1992)
      An assessment of megrim captured by Irish and joint venture (Spanish) vessels in Divisions Vll b, c, j, k is based on landings from both fleets and discards from Irish vessels targeting whitefish and Nephrops. Fishing activity by the joint venture fleet is centred on the 200m depth contour. Megrim CPUE has declined since 1985. Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis constitutes the majority of the landings by joint venture vessels; L. boscii amounts up to 2% by weight of the landings from deeper waters. In catches of undersized megrim, L. boscii was 12% of the total. Landings of L. whiffiagonis have similar length frequency distributions in the Irish inshore and joint venture fleets. There are indications of what may be seasonal abundance in the discards and landings of Irish vessels fishing inshore. Discards were calculated as 77% of landed weight in the first half of the year and 31% in the second. Megrim with an inshore provenance were slightly larger than those coming from deeper waters. The following growth parameters were calculated: L∞ = 51.2cm, k = 0.17 and to = -0.97. A catch curve derived from the combined landed and discarded megrim has a value of Z = 0.45, slightly less than the value calculated for the inshore Irish fleet (0.49). F is consequently in much the same position as in the 1989-90 assessment, on the negative slope of the yield per recruit curve.