• The Wexford commercial sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax (L.) fishery

      Fahy, E. (Department of Fisheries and Forestry, 1981)
      The Wexford sea bass fishery is operated during most months of the year with a high season from May to October. The fishery commenced in the 1950s but has shown a decline from the first years in which statistics became available. A proportion of the commercial catch comes from stake and ring nets with a mesh size of 18.4 cm in the round. Both take fish of similar fork length. Bass of 30-43 cm were the majority of those retained and they were mainly immatures. The smallest mature female examined in 1978 was a 6+ of 36.5 cm fork length. The greater part of the commercial catch is taken by line. Some details of the biology of bass in south east Ireland in 1978 are given: the fish fed mainly on shore crabs, sand shrimps and bait fishes. Sex ratios were approximately two females to each male. Growth in the mid 1970s differed little from other decades and it is concluded that bass in Irish waters conform to a single growth curve which is temporarily altered by good or bad growing years.