Browsing Irish Fisheries Investigations by Author "O'Sullivan, David"
Sediment characteristics and local hydrodynamics and their influence on the population of Nephrops around IrelandO'Sullivan, David; Lordan, Colm; Doyle, Jennifer; Berry, Alan; Lyons, Kieran (Marine Institute, 2014)The Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus, is the second most valuable commercial spe-cies landed from Irish waters. The species is dependent on muddy seabed sediment in which burrows are constructed. Larvae are hatched from the seabed into the water column. The distribution of Nephrops depends in part to the presence of suitable sediment and also from larval supply modulated by existing local hydrodynamic regimes. The pelagic stage of the life-cycle is governed by both physical and biological factors including temperature, water speed and larval maturation rate. This study encompasses three aims, 1: to synthesise available sediment data and examine the spatial extent of potential Nephrops habitat in waters around Ireland, 2: investigate local hydrodynamic conditions on Nephrops fishing grounds which are likely to be encountered by planktonic larvae following hatching and 3: to employ a particle tracking model to study the potential dispersal fields of Nephrops larvae from individual fishing grounds and assess stock connectivity. The study finds that larval distribution between fishing grounds is dependent on variable seasonal conditions, the geographical size of an area and its proximity to other grounds. Fishing grounds in the Irish Sea and Porcupine Bank are isolated from other areas, whereas grounds in the Celtic Sea exhibit a high degree of connectivity and should be considered as a meta-population. Successful annual recruitment to the adult population of this species is largely dependent on favourable environmental conditions which enable the re-seeding of the same or adjacent grounds.