• Phase II: Strain hybridisation field experiments and genetic fingerprinting of the edible brown seaweed Alaria esculenta

      Kraan, S; Guiry, M D (Marine Institute, 2001)
      Under phase II of the Marine Research Measure several field trials were performed with five biogeographical dispersed North Atlantic strains and their hybrids of the edible brown alga Alaria esculenta at Ard Bay, Carna, Co. Galway. The weight, length, width, biomass per meter rope, growth rate and protein level were measured. The fastest-growing crosses were produced with female Norway gametophytes together with male gametophytes of other strains. The Canadian selfcross produced most biomass of over 45 kg per meter rope. The female Iceland x male Ireland crossing produced the second highest biomass figure of 13.75 kg wet weight per meter rope, while the Irish self cross using a strain from the Aran Islands produced 7.4 kg wet weight per meter. The Canadian selfcross expressed the highest protein level followed by the female Newfoundland x male Norway hybrid. These strains and hybrids are well suited to be included in a protein rich macro-herbivore diet. The Irish native strain showed a lower protein level of 8% of the wet weight. Genetic fingerprinting using RFLPs did not show any genetic differences amongst the strains in respect of the DNA examined. A detailed sequencing study on the Rubisco spacer region showed a negligible 3 bp difference between the Irish and Canadian strains In conclusion, the Canadian strain or hybrids derived from female Canada gametophytes or female Iceland gametophytes produce more biomass per meter rope and grow larger and wider in size compared to the native Irish strain. They Canadian strain also showed the highest protein values in the field trials and hence are most suited to be applied in Irish aquaculture of the brown seaweed Alaria esculenta.
    • A Profile of Boating Activity on the Irish Sea

      McDowell, N; Shields, Y (Marine Institute, 1998)
      This report is based on the results of a survey undertaken to profile the extent and nature of boating tourism on the Irish Sea between the East Coast of Ireland and the West Coast of Wales. From the data collected it is possible to draw conclusions about the type of action that will help to promote the future boating tourism potential of the Irish Sea.
    • Reconnaissance Survey of the Irish Continental Shelf/Shelf Edge - Atlantic Irish Regional Survey (AIRS) 1996: A GLORIA Survey of the Irish Continental Margin

      Unnithan, V; Shannon, P M; McGrane, K; Jacob, A W B; Readman, P W; Keary, R (Marine Institute, 2000)
      The Atlantic Irish Regional Survey (AIRS96) sidescan sonar survey was carried out in August 1996. Covering an area of 200,000 sq.km it represented the largest reconnaissance seabed survey of the Irish Continental Shelf region. It covered both margins, together with much of the basin floor, of the Irish sector of the Rockall Trough and extended into the northern part of the Porcupine Seabight. The objectives of this project were two fold: 1. Strategic: •to undertake, for the first time a preliminary reconnaissance survey of the Irish Continental Shelf/Shelf Edge, •to establish a strategic database on Shelf/Slope Edge conditions, •to provide training and experience to Irish researchers in state of the art marine surveying equipment (GLORIA) and data processing. 2. Scientific: •to document slope stability and mass wasting features on the margins of the Rockall Trough, •to map, where possible, occurrences of deep water carbonate mounds, •to investigate the sediment erosional, transport and depositional mechanisms that have shaped the present morphology of the region. The survey revealed a range of sedimentary features across the steep (i.e. >6º slope) margins and the basin floor in the Rockall Trough. Four classes of sedimentary feature are recognised: (1) mass failure, (2) canyon systems, (3) sediment fans, and (4) sediment drifts. The western margin is characterised by large-scale downslope mass movement features. The western and central parts of the basin floor in the Rockall Trough contain the Feni Sediment Ridge, a large Miocene-Recent contourite sediment accumulation draped by large sediment waves trending sub-parallel to the dominant modern current pattern. A large-scale downslope mass failure feature is recognised across 14,000 sq.km of the northeastern margin of the Rockall Trough. Smaller slides and slumps occur along the eastern margin in association with more prevalent canyon, channel and fan systems. A cluster of carbonate mounds was imaged in the northern part of the Porcupine Seabight. These represent part of one of the most extensive suites of deep-water carbonate mounds in the Atlantic Margin and are currently the subject of a number of new EU-funded research projects. Strong northward-directed bottom currents along the eastern margin are suggested to erode, circulate and re-deposit sediment on the basin floor and on the western margin of the Rockall Trough. The main terrigenous sedimentary input was from the Irish Mainland Shelf. A broad interplay of alongslope and downslope sediment transport processes shaped the morphology of the Rockall Trough, while tectonically-driven basin subsidence, Quaternary glaciations and glacio-eustatic sea-level fluctuations also influenced the overall sedimentation pattern in the Rockall Trough.
    • Report on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Salmon Task Force

      Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 1998)
      Following the publication of the Report of the Salmon Management Task Force, the Marine Institute was asked to prepare a technical report on all aspects of the recommendations made, in particular those regarding Total Allowable Catch, Quota, Carcass Tagging and predation control measures. A technical implementation group was established by the Marine Institute which consulted with the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources, the Central and Regional Fisheries Boards and other interested parties during the drafting stages. The report provides an overview (1.0) of a new management system and within this system how stocks can be protected (2.0) and fisheries managed (3.0). Section 4.0 details the requirements for enforcement and monitoring. Section 5.0 deals with fishery management plans within the context of overall catchment management plans and peripheral issues are dealt with (6.0-10.0). Section (11.0) makes an attempt to specify the areas in which extra costs will occur and a timetable for implementation is suggested in (12.0) for the period 1998 to 2000. Predation control measures are being dealt with separately in consultation with the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources.
    • Socio-Economic Evaluation of the Impact of the Aquaculture Industry in Counties Donegal, Galway, Kerry and Cork

      White, F; Costelloe, J (Marine Institute, 1999)
      As set out in the Terms of Reference of this study the aim at the outset was to put together a clear picture of how the development of the aquaculture industry in Ireland has socially and economically shaped the coastal communities in Counties Donegal, Galway, Kerry and Cork and where this development is likely to lead these communities in the future. Specifically the aquaculture industry was examined in the context of other influencing factors of economic and social wealth in each of the study regions to establish its role within the community. The hinterland of Kilkieran Bay, in southwest Co. Galway, was chosen as a suitable area in which to conduct a detailed case study of the impact of the industry in peripheral coastal areas. The 3 principal phases of the project comprised; 1. A comprehensive literature review and data collation exercise 2. An extensive consultation process involving representatives of the aquaculture industry, relevant government and semi-state departments, community development bodies, tourism operators, and aquaculture operators in each of the regions. 3. A detailed series of questionnaire surveys in the case study area.
    • A Socio-economic Study of Fisheries in Counties Cork, Donegal, Kerry and Galway

      Ó Donnchadha, G; Callaghan, T; Niland, C (Marine Institute, 2000)
      Ireland has an extensive continental shelf within its 200-mile Economic Zone and has contributed enormously to EU Common Fishery Resources. Irish access to these fisheries was decided under previous fishery agreements and it is felt that Irish coastal communities have been seriously disadvantaged under EU fishery policy. This report hopes to advance arguments that will persuade the EU that Irish fishing communities should have a more equitable share of contiguous fish stocks under the 2002 review of the CFP. Project No. 97.IR.MR.008 was undertaken by The Institute of Technology, Tralee and Aqua-Fact International Services Limited (Galway) to provide a Socio- Economic Evaluation of the impact of fisheries and aquaculture in Counties Donegal, Galway, Kerry and Cork. This report deals with sea fisheries. It covers Counties Donegal and Kerry in their entirety, County Galway excluding Galway City and the Coastal Rural and Urban Districts of County Cork. These districts of County Cork comprise the Rural Districts of Bandon, Bantry, Castletownbere, Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Kinsale, Midleton, Skibereen, Schull and Youghal No.1 and the Urban Districts of Clonakilty, Cobh, Kinsale, Midleton, Skibereen and Youghal. Galway City is included in the maps, not in the tables, figures or appendices. The study of aquaculture is published separately. The two studies share the secondary socio-economic data and complement each other.
    • Strain selection in the edible brown seaweed Alaria esculenta: Genetic fingerprinting and hybridization studies under laboratory conditions

      Kraan, S; Guiry, M D (Marine Institute, 2000)
      The genus Alaria presently includes 12 species, 11 of which are located in the cold temperate North Pacific and only one is found in the North Atlantic (Widdowson, 1971). The North Atlantic species Alaria esculenta has two northern forms, A. esculenta forma grandifolia and forma pylaii (Lüning, 1990). The study presented here will concentrate on the genetic fingerprinting of Alaria esculenta, the most common North Atlantic species, and hybridisation of members of the Laminariaceae.
    • A Study of Selected Maërl Beds in Irish Waters and their Potential for Sustainable Extraction

      De Grave, S; Fazakerley, H; Kelly, L; Guiry, M D; Ryan, M; Walshe, J (Marine Institute, 2000)
      Although maërl beds are both of economic importance and conservation interest, data on the distribution of beds and their associated communities are lacking in Irish waters. This report describes the spatial distribution and volume of the maërl resource (Lithothamnion corallioides, Phymatolithon calcareum) along the west coast of Ireland from Donegal to Cork. Taking an average thickness of 2m (range: 0.1 – 3m) the current study estimates that the total national exploitable maërl bearing resource is of the order of 3 x 10^6 metres cubed. The Report outlines guidelines for the exploitation of this natural resource, which because of its extremely low growth rate, cannot be considered a renewable resource in the strictest sense.
    • A Survey of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Shannon Estuary

      Rogan, E; Ingram, S; Holmes, B; O'Flanagan, C (Marine Institute, 2000)
      The bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus is a ubiquitous species found throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The bottlenose dolphin population that occurs in the Shannon is one of only six known resident European populations. Since 1994, a small dolphin watching industry has been operating in the estuary, with plans for expansion. The objectives of this were to a) assess the degree of residency of bottlenose dolphins in the Shannon; b) estimate the population size and assess the production of calves; c) examine the social structure of the population; d) study habitat use and e) examine the effects of boats on dolphin behaviour. Boat-based surveys and photo-identification techniques were used to derive a population estimate and to examine distribution and movements of individually identifiable dolphins over a two-year period. Land-based scan samples were used to examine behavioural activity and interactions of dolphins with all categories of boat traffic. Trips on dolphin watching boats examined whether these boats were interacting with the same individual dolphins on a trip, daily or weekly basis. Dolphins were recorded in all months of the year but with a seasonal peak between May and September. Many of the identifiable dolphins were resighted throughout the study indicating a high degree of residency. Using photo-identification and mark-recapture analyses, the population estimate for the Shannon is 113 dolphins (CV 0.14, 95% C.I. 94 - 161). The presence of neonatal calves only from July – September indicates that there is a marked breeding season for this population and that the area is important as a nursery area. Group sizes ranged from singletons to groups of 32 animals and while dolphins were seen throughout the study area, groups were frequently encountered in the narrow water at Kilcredaun and in the mouth of the estuary. A second area of concentrated sightings was identified further up-river around Moneypoint and Tarbert/Killimer. This group comprised a smaller number of individuals, and the re-encounter rate of these individuals in the same area suggests a degree of habitat partitioning. These dolphins may be more vulnerable to dolphin watching activities than the more diffuse numbers in the outer estuary. The influence of tidal cycle was recorded at Kilcredaun and at Killimer/Tarbert with a distinct peak in sightings in the four-hour period before low tide. The frequency distribution of association indices shows that there are few "strong" associations between individuals and supports the notion of a fluid and gregarious social structure. Dolphin watching boats were involved in 61.8% of all interactions with dolphin groups, higher than any other category of boat. At present, two operators make approximately 200 dolphin watching trips annually, carrying a total of 2,400 passengers per year. The operators are highly successful in locating dolphins (97%) and the tour boats rarely come into contact with each other on the water and generally search in different areas and watch different groups. The potential for land-based dolphin watching was examined and possible sites identified. The information from this study provides a basis from which sound conservation management strategies can be developed, in order to properly conserve the species and its habitat, to develop a sustainable dolphin watching industry and to develop/monitor other coastal zone industries such as oil and gas exploration and shipping development within the Shannon.