• American Hard-Shelled Clam Experiments in Irish Waters

      Gibson, F A; Duggan, C B (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1973)
      In each of the years 1969, 1970 and 1971, the Fisheries Division of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, introduced experimental batches of second generation, disease free American hard-shelled clams from the hatchery operated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at Conmay North Wales to selected areas of the Irish coast. An analysis of the 1969 plantings of seed hard-shelled clam has already been made by Gibson and Duggnn in Fishery Leaflet No. 24 published in 1970. The results of further observations carried out from 1970 to 1972, are now incorporated with the 1969 data and together form the material for this Leaflet.
    • Catch and Effort and Size Distribution in the Irish Lobster and Lobster/Crawfish Fisheries

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1972)
      In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the interpretation of the effects of fishing effort upon the stock abundance of commercially valuable decapod crustacea. Simpson (1970) has emphasised the value of and urgent need for, precise information concerning the effects of fishing effort on lobster and crawfish stocks. By their very nature, lobsters and crawfish do not lend themselves particularly well to conformity with established methods of catch and effort analyses as applied to fish stocks. Therefore, whilst this almost traditional approach is adopted for lobster and crawfish studies, it may well be that considerable adjustments in the methodology are required if firmer estimations are to be achieved concerning the effects of fishing effort upon these animals. A most important gap in our knowledge is that of the mechanism of recruitment. Without reliable estimates of annual recruitment it is difficult to interpret its effects on abundance of good or poor year classes. Fully reliable methods of ageing lobsters have not been perfected.
    • Catch and Effort in the Irish Lobster Fishery During 1971

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1973)
      Once again it must be reported that only a small number of fishermen participated in the log book scheme operated by the Fisheries Division of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Valuable as the data given by these fishermen are, and important as they are to the future of management in the Irish lobster fishery, it must be said that the participation of a very much more extensive section of fishermen would greatly enhance the value of the catch effort data. A further appeal is made to the readers of this Leaflet, that they should join this scheme and thereby contribute information important to the future of this fishery, which in 1971 brought in £338,000 to the fishermen.
    • Catch Effort and Size Distribution in the Irish Lobster Fishing Industry in 1969 and 1970

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1972)
      This leaflet continues the study of catch and effort in the Irish lobster fishery, commenced in 1968, which was the subject matter of Fishery Leaflet No. 14 (Gibson 1968), As before, the results set out in this Leaflet have been obtained mainly from information supplied by Irish lobster fishermen who kept log books of their catch and effort in 1969. The response by fishermen to the requests by the Department to keep and fill in log books was still not as satisfactory as was expected, with the result that once again less than twenty log books were returned which contained information of sufficient standard to be useful in calculating the relationship between fishing and effort. The recording of this data is essential for the proper management of the lobster fishery in Irish waters and it is unfortunate that more fishermen are not co-operating in the log book scheme which is designed to help them. Those fishermen who have taken part in the scheme have already freely acknowledged that the log books (which remain their own property) have proved invaluable to them in their fishing operations, Furthermore the reproduction of all the data supplied by fishermen in one Leaflet enables those interested to see the rate of catch made by each type of boat or fishing gear. This information enables fishermen to compare their fishing results with those of others and so perhaps helps them to choose alternative and more satisfactory means for the capture of lobsters. However, if this service is to be of most advantage to all fishermen, the numbers of fishermen filling in log books must be increased considerably. It is hoped that the annual publication of these records will encourage other fishermen to join the scheme thereby furthering everyone's knowledge of this important species in Irish waters.
    • Catch Effort and Size Distributions of the Catch in the Irish Lobster Fishery (1968)

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1969)
      The object of this leaflet is to discuss methods of comparing the success (catch per unit effort) of various types of traps for the capture of lobsters and the relationship of the information thus obtained to the lobster stocks themselves.
    • Escallop fishing around Ireland

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1957)
      There are, at present, two main centres of escallop fishing around the Irish coasts, one situated in the inlets forming the north side of Galway Bay, and the other along this south-west coast from Schull, County Cork, to Valentia, County Kerry, the beds exploited in these areas are all inshore, ranging from a short distance to about two miles beyond low water mark and in depths varying from two to twenty fathoms. Extensive beds are uncommon, most of them being small and located between rocky areas where the bottom is suitable. Escallops are generally taken in the months of October to April. Minimum size limits are enforced.
    • Experiments with the American Hard-Shelled Clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) 1969

      Gibson, F A; Duggan, C B (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1970)
      The American hard-shelled clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) is a valuable bivalve molluscan shellfish in the U.S.A, and Canada. This bivalve is somewhat like the cockle (familiar to most Irish people) or the palourde (Venerupis decussata) which is gathered on some parts of the Irish coast and exported to France. Unlike the cockle which lives in sand, or the palourde which is found mainly in coarse sand and shingle, the hard-shelled clam lives in sandy mud. Some years ago this clam established itself in Southampton Water, on the south coast of England. It is thought that this particular stock originated from live clams thrown overboard from an American liner. Due to the warming effect of the outflow from a large power station near Southampton, coupled with naturally occurring high sea-water temperatures in this area, the clams were able to breed and multiply. Normally the seawater temperatures around the coasts of Gt. Britain and Ireland are too low to permit the clams to multiply by natural breeding.
    • Export and Import of Shellfish 1961-1970

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1972)
      The greater part of all varieties of shellfish and shellfish preparations, produced from Irish fisheries are exported. Markets for this production are located chiefly in Britain and Europe. The home market has been taking a steady proportion of some varieties, notably, lobsters, Dublin Bay prawns (Nephrops), crabs, oysters and escallops. At the same time, considerable quantities of shellfish are imported.
    • General Methods for Storage of Lobsters

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1972)
      This publication discusses the three types of storage unit used for holding lobsters in Ireland; (A) Tidal pounds (B) Recirculation or direct circulation pounds (C) High density units
    • The Irish shellfish industry 1948-1967

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1969)
      The term shellfish is used to group together two very large orders of the animal kingdom, namely the Crustacea and the Molluscs. These orders are not closely related to each other; the main characteristics they have in common being that neither of' them has an internal supporting structure or skeleton. However, they live in similar environments, mainly in the sea, although a few inhabit fresh water, Many hundreds of individual species occur in Irish waters, but only a small number of these are commercially important. These include lobsters, crawfish, Dublin Bay prawns (Nephrops), crabs (all crustaceans), periwinkles, oysters, escallops, mussels, cockles, whelks and clams (all molluscs). During the twenty year period 1948 to 1967, reviewed in this paper, the Irish shellfish industry has changed in many respects. In some sectors methods of fishing have been improved, farming techniques have been introduced and the development of markets on Continental Europe has encouraged the use of improved methods of handling and transport of shellfish to these distant destinations, Nevertheless the rate of expansion of the shellfish industry has been comparatively slow.
    • Lobster Trap Census 1968

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1969)
      A census made in July and in September, 1968 of the number of traps used in the Irish lobster fishery has been used in this paper as the basis for an analysis of lobster catch. The catch figures supplied to the Fisheries Division by various collectors have been correlated with the gear used in the 12 maritime counties involved.
    • Lobster Trap Census 1969

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1970)
      This leaflet adds to the information given in Fishery Leaflet No. 11 (Gibson, 1969) concerning lobster traps used around the Irish coasts in 1968. The catch figures supplied to the Fisheries Division by various collectors have been correlated with the lobster gear used by boats fishing off the 12 maritime counties. The purpose of these continuing records is to provide an annual measure of the effects of fishing upon lobster stocks and thereby to analyse trends in the landings, by comparing annual catch and effort.
    • Lobster Trap Census 1971

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1972)
      This leaflet continues the information provided by Fisheries Leaflets 11, 23 and 26. There was little change in the types of Lobster fishing gear in use in 1971 compared with previous years.
    • Lobster trap census 1972

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1973)
      This leaflet continues the information provided by Fishery Leaflets Nos. 11, 23, 26, and 39. There was little change in the types of Lobster fishing gear in use in 1972 compared with previous years.
    • Lobster Trap Census, 1970

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1971)
      This leaflet continues the information given in Fishery Leaflets No. 11 and 23 concerning lobster traps in use around the Irish coasts. As in previous years the lobster catch figures supplied to the Fisheries Division by various collectors have been correlated with the fishing gear used by boats fishing off the 12 maritime counties. There was little change in 1970 in the preference of the fishermen for the different designs of fishing traps used.
    • Prawn Fishing

      Gibson, F A (Department of Lands, 1956)
      The common prawn (Leander serratus) is widely distributed around the Irish coasts, but obviously varies in abundance from place to place. This prawn should not be mistaken for the Norway Lobster, sometimes called the Dublin Bay Prawn (Nephrops norvegicus) or with the brown shrimp (Crangon vulgaris). Alive, the common prawn is a grey-brown colour and has blue bands on its legs. The Norway lobster is a pink colour, and its body is profusely covered with white tipped spines. The common prawn also has a projection from its head, called a rostrum, which is absent from the shrimp. As the prawn is of economic importance, some notes on simple methods of capture will be of interest to fishermen.
    • A Review of the Irish Lobster Fishery

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1969)
      Records of the actual numbers of lobsters caught in Irish waters prior to 1887, are difficult to obtain. However, during the last thirteen years of the 19th century, the fishery had assumed such importance as to be included with the other major ones of the period i.e. salmon, herring, mackerel and cod. In 1891, the Inspector of Irish Fisheries, W.S. Green, commented that "the lobster fishery had reached such proportions as to deserve separate reporting". The help of the Coast Guard officers was sought for the task of compiling catch statistics, with the result that, from 1892 until the outbreak of the 1914-18 war, excellent records of the catch in the fishery are available. Since then the system of statistics collection has changed and now both catch and effort in the lobster fishery are assessed. This paper deals mainly with the period 1900 to 1967.
    • Seasonal and Annual Catches of Lobsters, Crawfish, and Crabs 1961-1970

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1972)
      During the ten year period from 1961 to 1970 certain changes took place in the lobster, crawfish and crab fisheries of Ireland which are worth recording and provide valuable information about the seasonal pattern of fishing for those species.
    • Some notes on crab fishing

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1957)
      Specific fishing on a commercial scale for the edible crab is practised only to a limited extent in this country and, although fairly substantial quantities of edible crabs are landed annually, these are largely the by-product of creel fishing for lobsters and crawfish. These notes give a short account of certain crab fishing methods and record the results of some experimental fishing undertaken by the Fisheries Division.
    • Value of fish and shellfish landings into leading Irish ports 1962-1971

      Gibson, F A (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Fisheries Division), 1972)
      Landings of seafish are recorded under three broad headings, namely, demersal fish, pelagic fish and shellfish. The term demersal is applied to fish which live the greater part of their lives at or relatively near the sea bed. Demersal fish include roundfish such as whiting, cod, haddock, pollock and hake; flatfish such as plaice, sole, dabs, flounder, and also commercially valuable shark type fish such as skate and ray. The term pelagic is applied to fish which live the greater part of their lives in the upper layers of water and includes herrings, sprats, pilchards and mackerel. Shellfish include crawfish, lobsters, Nephrops (Dublin Bay prawns), crabs, shrimps and prawns all of which are known collectively as cruatacea; and escallops, mussels, oysters, periwinkles and various clams, which are known collectively as molluscs. The annual statistics published by the Fisheries Division of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries give landings (by value) of approximately the leading 36 ports around the Irish coast.