Recent Submissions

  • Atlantic Herring and Horse Mackerel in 6aS/7b; Industry Acoustic Survey Cruise Report

    O’Malley, M.; Clarke, M.; Smith, T.; Mullins, E. (Marine Institute, 2018)
    An acoustic survey of Atlantic herring Clupea harengus and horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus was conducted in ICES areas 6aS/7b in Nov 2017 using the pair trawl vessels MFV Eilean Croine S238 and MFV Sparkling Star D437. This survey is the second in a time series that is hoped will be developed into a long-term index of spawning/pre-spawning herring and horse mackerel in 6aS/7b, for use in stock assessments in the future. The survey design was based on the predicted distribution of herring and horse mackerel in this area during this time. In total 1,482nmi of cruise track was completed using 27 transects and related to a total area coverage of approximately 2,200 nmi². Parallel transect spacing was set at 7.5nmi for the wider area, and 3.5nmi for Donegal Bay. Coverage extended from inshore coastal areas to the 200 m contour in the west and north. A mini survey was carried out in Lough Swilly using a zig-zag design. A Simrad ES-38B (38 kHz) split-beam transducer mounted on a towed body was calibrated before the survey near Rathmullan Pier in Lough Swilly, Co. Donegal. Very strong herring marks (e.g. > 2nmi long, 200m wide and ~18m deep) were evident in Lough Swilly, an area where boats in the monitoring fishery were concentrating effort. There was also a series of strong herring marks in Bruckless Bay and Inver Bay in discreet areas. There were very few herring marks offshore. A total of four hauls were taken for biological analysis. Biological samples from the monitoring fishery were used to augment the samples from the survey. Samples were taken from boats fishing in Lough Swilly, Bruckless Bay and Inver Bay as close spatially and temporally as possible to the survey in these areas. Herring were dominated by 3-wr fish in all hauls. The 3-wr age class constituted 32% of the overall numbers. Horse mackerel were distributed throughout the survey area, but particularly throughout the area to the north and west of Tory Island. Horse mackerel length distribution was dominated by a mode at 24cm, with a smaller mode at 30cm. This corresponded to a dominance of 3-wr fish (~67%) in all of the samples. The total stock biomass (TSB) estimate of herring for the combined 6aS/7b area was 40,646 tonnes (Lough Swilly = 12,098 tonnes, Donegal Bay = 23,157 tonnes, and the remaining NW area = 5,391 tonnes). This is considered to be a minimum estimate of herring in the 6aS/7b survey area at the time of the survey. The TSB estimate of horse mackerel for the total surveyed area in 6aS/7b area was 68,079 tonnes, considered to be a minimum estimate of horse mackerel in the 6aS/7b survey area at the time of the survey. The CV estimates on biomass and abundance are high (~0.50 for herring and ~ 0.62 for horse mackerel) for the survey in 2017. For herring, this is mostly caused by the over-reliance on a few acoustic marks of herring in Lough Swilly and Bruckless/Inver Bays in particular. For horse mackerel, this is most likely caused by and over-reliance of two transects in particular. Horse mackerel are a widely distributed stock, therefore the stock was not contained by this survey.
  • Sensitive Ecosystem Assessment and ROV Exploration of Reef Survey Report 2017

    O’Sullivan, D.; Leahy, Y.; Guinan, J.; Shipboard Scientific Party (Marine Institute, 2018)
    A requirement exists to quantify the abundance and distribution of offshore biogenic and geogenic reef habitats in Irish waters to fulfil Ireland’s legal mandate and to generate baseline data from which appropriate monitoring systems can be established. To address this an extensive offshore reef survey of Ireland’s Northwest Continental margin was commissioned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), and coordinated and led by INFOMAR (Integrated Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resources) and Ireland’s Marine Institute. The objectives of the survey were to implement the EMFF’s Marine Biodiversity Scheme - Natura Fisheries by mapping offshore reef habitats with a view to protecting them from deterioration due to fishing pressures. The reef project aligns with sub-article 6.2 of the Habitats Directive (EC 92/43/EEC) which requires member states to take measures to avoid deterioration of protected habitats. A survey, Sensitive Ecosystem Assessment and ROV Exploration of Reef (SeaRover), took place in July 2017 aboard the ILV Granuaile equipped with the Marine Institute’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Holland 1 and a multidisciplinary team of scientists to observe seabed features and biological associations along the northwest continental shelf. The Holland 1 employs high-definition (HD) camera, various composite video feeds and a robotic arm to facilitate sample collection. The primary scientific objective was to map the distribution and abundance of geogenic and biogenic reef habitat along the northwest shelf edge of Ireland’s continental slope with HD video. Secondary objectives included the collection of biological samples for genetic and population analysis and the collection of sediment cores for ground-truthing seabed mapping data and analysis of micro-plastics within deep-water sediment.
  • Celtic Sea Herring Acoustic Survey Cruise Report 2017, 15-04 November 2017

    O'Donnell, C.; O'Malley, M.; Lynch, D.; Lyons, K.; Keogh, N.; O’Driscoll, D. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    In the southwest of Ireland and the Celtic Sea (ICES Divisions VIIaS, g & j), herring are an important commercial species to the pelagic and polyvalent fleet. For a period in the 1970s and1980s, larval surveys were conducted for herring in this area. However, since 1989, acoustic surveys have been carried out, and currently are the only tuning indices available for this stock. In the Celtic Sea and VIIj, herring acoustic surveys have been carried out since 1989. Since 2004 the survey has been fixed in October and carried out onboard the RV Celtic Explorer. The geographical confines of the annual 21 day survey have been modified in recent years to include areas to the south of the main winter spawning grounds in an effort to identify the whereabouts of winter spawning fish before the annual inshore spawning migration. Spatial resolution of acoustic transects has been increased over the entire south coast survey area. The acoustic component of the survey has been further complemented since 2004 by detailed hydrographic, marine mammal and seabird surveys.
  • Aran, Galway Bay and Slyne Head Nephrops Grounds (FU17) 2017 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2018

    Lordan, C.; Doyle, J.; Butler, R.; Sugrue, S.; Allsop, C.; O'Connor, S.; Vacherot, J.P. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report provides the main results and findings of the fifteenth annual underwater television on the Aran, Galway Bay and Slyne head Nephrops grounds, ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 17. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, fishing, CTD and other ecosystem data. In 2017 a total of 40 UWTV stations were successfully completed, 31 on the Aran Grounds, 5 on Galway Bay and 4 on Slyne Head patches. The mean burrow density observed in 2017, adjusted for edge effect, was medium at 0.29 burrows/m². The final krigged burrow abundance estimate for the Aran Grounds was 343 million burrows with a CV (or relative standard error) of 3 %. The final abundance estimate for Galway Bay and Slyne Head was 25 and 11 million burrows with CVs of 7% and 3% respectively. The total abundance estimates have fluctuated considerably over the time series. The 2016 combined abundance estimate was 32% lower than in 2015 and at 379 million and is below the MSY Btrigger (540 million). Using the 2017 abundance estimate and updated stock data implies catch of 551 tonnes and landings of 513 tonnes in 2018 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2014–2016). Virgilaria mirabilis was the only sea-pen species observed on the UWTV footage. Trawl marks were present at 20% of the Aran stations surveyed.
  • Porcupine Bank Nephrops Grounds (FU16) 2017 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2018

    Lordan, C.; Doyle, J.; Butler, R.; Sugrue, S.; Allsop, C.; O’Connor, S.; Vacherot, J.P. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report provides the results of the fifth underwater television on the ‘Porcupine Bank Nephrops grounds’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 16. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, CTD and other ecosystem data. In total 63 UWTV stations were successfully completed in a randomised 6 nautical mile isometric grid covering the full spatial extent of the stock. The mean burrow density observed in 2017, adjusted for edge effect, was 0.12 burrows/m². The final krigged abundance estimate was 850 million burrows with a relative standard error of 5% and an estimated stock area of 7,134 km2. The 2017 abundance estimate was 11% lower than in 2016. Using the 2017 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch of 2,734 tonnes and landings of 2,734 tonnes in 2017 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that all catch is landed). The three species of sea-pen; Virgularia mirabilis, Funiculina quadrangularis and Pennatula phosphorea, were all observed during the survey. The deepwater sea-pen Kophobelemnon stelliferum was also observed and its presence/absence mapped from the available time-series. Trawl marks were also observed on 43% of the stations surveyed.
  • Western Irish Sea Nephrops Grounds (FU15) 2017 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2018

    Clements, A.; Doyle, J.; Lordan, C.; Lundy, M.; McCorriston, P.; McArdle, J.; McCausland, I.; Burns, G.; Schön, P.J. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report provides the main results and findings of the 15th annual underwater television survey on the ‘Irish sea west Nephrops grounds’ ICES assessment area, Functional Unit 15. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV and other ecosystem data. The 2017 design consisted of a randomised isometric grid of 100 stations at 4.5 nautical mile intervals out over the full known extent the stock. The resulting krigged burrow abundance estimate was 5.3 billion burrows. This was a similar result of that obtained in 2006, and 4% higher than the abundance in 2016. In contrast to 2016 the spatial distribution of burrows appears more homogenous across the survey area. Overall densities are high and abundance remains stable, well above MSY Btrigger. Reducing the number of stations compared to 2011 has not affected the accuracy of the survey estimate to date. The CV (or relative standard error) of 3% is in line with previous estimates and well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS 2012. Total catches and landings options at various different fishing mortalities were calculated and fishing at Fmsy in 2017 implies a total catch option at Fmsy (=Fmax) of 11,807 tonnes which results in landings of no more than 9,630 tonnes. The only sea-pen species observed in 2017 was Virgularia mirabilis and this was found at 16% of stations ranging from occasional to common, with high densities observed in the south-west of the ground. Trawl marks were noted at 36% of the UWTV stations.
  • FU19 Nephrops Grounds 2017 UWTV Survey and catch options for 2018

    Doyle, J.; Fitzgerald, R.; O’Brien, S.; Ryan, G.; McGeady, R.; Lordan, C. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report provides the main results of the eighth underwater television survey of the various Nephrops patches in Functional Unit 19. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, CTD, multi-beam and other ecosystem data. In 2017 a total 41 UWTV stations were successfully completed. The mean density estimates varied considerably across the different patches. The 2017 raised abundance estimate was a 25% increase from the 2016 estimate and at 499 million burrows is above the MSY Btrigger (430 million). Using the 2017 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch of 1,192 tonnes and landings of 889 tonnes in 2018 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2014–2016). Two species of sea pen were observed; Virgularia mirabilis and Pennatula phosphorea which have been observed on previous surveys of FU19. Trawl marks were observed at 10% of the stations surveyed.
  • The “Smalls” Nephrops Grounds (FU22) 2017 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2018

    O’Brien, S.; Blaszkowski, M.; Butler, R.; Fee, D.; Hernon, P.; Santana, C.; Lordan, C.; Doyle, J. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report provides the main results and findings of the twelfth annual underwater television survey on the ‘Smalls grounds’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 22. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, CTD and other ecosystem data. A total of 40 UWTV stations were surveyed successfully (good quality video footage) carried out over an isometric grid at 4.5nmi or 8.3km intervals. The precision, with a CV of 5%, was well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS 2012. The 2017 abundance estimate was 16% higher than in 2016 and at 1600 million is above the new MSY Btrigger (990 million). Using the 2017 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch of 4,332 tonnes and landings of 3,784 tonnes in 2018 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2014–2016). Only one species of sea-pen Virgilaria mirabilis was recorded as present at the stations surveyed. Trawl marks were observed at 59% of the stations surveyed. Ten beam trawl tows were carried out providing important data on the benthic communities and size structure of the Nephrops population.
  • The Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks Nephrops Grounds (FU2021) 2017 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2018

    Doyle, J.; Fitzgerald, R.; O’Brien, S.; Ryan, G.; McGeady, R.; Lordan, C. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    This report provides the main results of the 2017 underwater television survey on the ‘Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 20-21. This was the fourth survey to achieve full coverage of the full area. The 2017 survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, CTD and other ecosystem data. A total of 86 UWTV stations were completed at 6 nmi intervals over a randomised isometric grid design. The mean burrow density was 0.44 burrows/m2 compared with 0.18 burrows/m2 in 2016. The 2017 geostatistical abundance estimate was 4.4±0.01 billion a 236% increase on the abundance for 2016 with a CV of 4% which is well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS 2012. Highest densities were generally observed throughout the ground, and there were also high densities observed close to boundaries. Using the 2017 abundance estimate and updated stock data implies catch of 8,673 tonnes and landings of 6,553 tonnes in 2018 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2014–2016). One species of sea-pen were recorded as present at the stations surveyed Virgilaria mirabilis. Trawl marks were observed at 32% of the stations surveyed.
  • Western European Shelf Pelagic Acoustic Survey (WESPAS) 06 June - 21 July, 2017

    O’Donnell, C.; O’Malley, M.; Mullins, E.; Lynch, D.; Keogh, N.; O’Sullivan, C. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    The WESPAS survey program is the consolidation of two existing survey programs carried out by FEAS. The Malin Shelf herring acoustic survey has been carried out annually since 2008 and reports on the annual abundance of summer feeding aggregations of herring to the west of Scotland and to the north and west of Ireland from 54°N to 58°30’N. The boarfish survey was carried out from 2011 using a chartered fishing vessel and reports on the abundance of spawning aggregations of boarfish from 47°N to 57°N. In 2016 both surveys were combined and carried out onboard the RV Celtic Explorer over a 42 day period providing synoptic coverage of shelf waters from 47°N northwards to 58°30’N.
  • Northwest Herring Acoustic Survey Report 24th June – 14th July, 2015

    Nolan, C.; Campbell, A.; O’Donnell, C.; Marrinan, M.; Parker, M. (Marine Institute, 2015)
    The northwest and west coast (ICES Divisions VIaS & VIIb, c) herring acoustic survey programme was first established in 1994. The summer 2015 survey represents the eight in the new time series (est. in 2008). The survey was coordinated through the ICES Working Group of International Pelagic Surveys (WGIPS). The Irish component was carried out to cover the statistical rectangles between 53°30’-58°30' N and 12°-5° W as laid out in the WGIPS report (ICES, 2014). For 2015 only Irish data on herring distribution, abundance and age have been used to provide a measure of the relative abundance of herring within the Malin shelf stock complex. Survey data on stock numbers at age are submitted to the ICES Herring Assessment Working Group (HAWG) and used in the annual stock assessment process. The northwest and west coast (ICES Divisions VIaS & VIIb) herring stock is composed of two spawning components, autumn and winter spawners. Spawning covers a large geographical area and extends over a 4-month period from late September through to late March (Molloy et al, 2000). Traditionally, fishing effort has been concentrated on spawning and pre-spawning aggregations. The autumn spawning component, which mostly occurs within VIIb and VIaS, feeds along the shelf break area to the west of the spawning grounds. The larger winter spawning component is found further north in VIa. In VIaS, summer distribution extends from close inshore to the shelf break. Components of the winter spawning fish are known to undertake northward feeding migration into VIaN before returning in the winter to spawn along the Irish coast.
  • Blue Whiting Acoustic Survey cruise report, March 19- April 11, 2017

    O'Donnell, C.; Johnston, G.; Mullins, E.; Keogh, N.; O'Callaghan, S. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    Acoustic surveys on blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou) spawning aggregations in the north east Atlantic have been carried out by the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) Norway since the early 1970s. The 2017 survey was part of an international collaborative survey using the vessels RV Celtic Explorer (Ireland), RV Tridens (Netherlands), FV Kings Bay (Norway) and the RV Magnus Heinason (Faroes). The total combined area coverage extended from the Faroe Islands in the north (62° N) to south of Ireland (51° N), with east -west extension from 1°-17° W. International survey participants meet shortly after the survey to present data and produce a combined relative abundance stock estimate and report. The combined survey report is presented annually at the WGIPS meeting held in January. The information presented here relates specifically to the Irish survey.
  • International Blue Whiting Spawning Stock Survey (IBWSS) Spring 2017

    Marine Institute; Wageningen Marine Research; Institute of Marine Research; PINRO; Faroe Marine Research Institute; Marine Scotland Marine Laboratory; Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut; Danish Institute for Fisheries Research; BirdWatch Ireland; Irish Whale and Dolphin Group; UCC; Working Group on International Pelagic Surveys; Working Group on Widely Distributed Stocks (Marine Institute, 2017)
    Coordination of the survey was initiated in the meeting of the Working Group on International Pelagic Surveys (WGIPS) and continued by correspondence until the start of the survey. During the survey effort was refined and adjusted by the coordinator based on real time observations. The survey design applied followed methods described in ICES Survey design Manual (2015) and allowed for a flexible transect design and comprehensive coverage of the spawning aggregations. Overall weather conditions were mixed with periods of poor and good weather. All vessels, with the exception of Kings Bay experienced some downtime due to conditions with the Faroes experiencing the most prolonged period of bad weather at the end of the survey period. The entire survey was undertaken within 20 days and below the 21 day target threshold. The bulk of the survey was temporally consistent with the exception of one transect in the southern Rockall Trough.
  • Atlantic Herring in 6aS/7b, c Industry Acoustic Survey Cruise Report, 28 November – 07 December, 2016

    O'Malley, M.; Clarke, M.; O'Donnell, C.; Murphy, I. (Marine Institute, 2017)
    The individual stock assessments for Atlantic herring Clupea harengus in 6aN and 6aS/7b, c have been combined into one assessment encompassing both stocks following a benchmark in 2015 (ICES 2015a). ICES still considers that two separate stocks exist. The main reason for the merging has been that the catches of mixed aggregations in the commercial fishery and in the summer acoustic survey could not be separated into the different stock components for the purposes of stock assessment. The consequence of this has been a zero TAC for herring in these areas for 2016 and 2017. In its autumn 2015 plenary report, the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF PLEN 15-03, 2015), noted that from a stock assessment perspective, it would be beneficial to allow small catches in both management areas in the form of a monitoring TAC, to maintain an uninterrupted time series of fishery-dependent catch data from both stocks. On the request of industry, part of the monitoring TAC was set aside in 2016 to conduct acoustic/trawl surveys in both 6aN and 6aS/7b, c. An industry/science collaboration survey was conducted on pre-spawning aggregations of 6aS/7, c herring during late November/early December in 2016. Herring were found in very dense aggregations in a few specific locations (Lough Swilly and Donegal Bay), but schools were smaller and in low numbers throughout much of the survey area offshore. This behaviour was evident in the monitoring fishery also during the time of the survey. The dense shoals were in shallow inshore areas, and in some cases very large (> 1nmi long). Three acoustic validation hauls were also carried out, only one containing herring. Fishing could not take place in shallow areas with the survey vessel. Samples from the monitoring fishery were used to augment samples from the survey and work up an estimate of abundance and biomass of herring. The survey estimated a minimum of 35,475 tonnes herring in the survey area. The hyper-aggregating behaviour and relatively low numbers of herring schools during the survey led to a high CV (~0.37) on the estimates of abundance and biomass. The vast majority of herring were mature, assumed to be of 6aS/7b, c origin due to their proximity geographically to the spawning beds and temporally to spawning time for this mainly winter spawning stock. Small horse mackerel (~20 - 24cm) were found throughout the area to the north and west of Tory Island in many large schools on the bottom
  • Celtic Sea Herring Acoustic Survey Cruise Report 2016, 07-27 October 2016

    O'Donnell, C.; Sullivan, M.; Lyons, K.; Keogh, N.; Quinn, M. (Marine Institute, 2016)
    In the southwest of Ireland and the Celtic Sea (ICES Divisions VIIaS, g & j), herring are an important commercial species to the pelagic and polyvalent fleet. For a period in the 1970s and1980s, larval surveys were conducted for herring in this area. However, since 1989, acoustic surveys have been carried out, and currently are the only tuning indices available for this stock. In the Celtic Sea and VIIj, herring acoustic surveys have been carried out since 1989. Since 2004 the survey has been fixed in October and carried out onboard the RV Celtic Explorer. The geographical confines of the annual 21 day survey have been modified in recent years to include areas to the south of the main winter spawning grounds in an effort to identify the whereabouts of winter spawning fish before the annual inshore spawning migration. Spatial resolution of acoustic transects has been increased over the entire south coast survey area. The acoustic component of the survey has been further complemented since 2004 by detailed hydrographic, marine mammal and seabird surveys.
  • Aran, Galway Bay and Slyne Head Nephrops Grounds (FU17) 2016 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2017

    Doyle, J.; Lordan, C.; Stokes, D.; O'Brien, S.; Kelly, C.; Bentley, K.; Vacherot, J.P. (Marine Institute, 2016)
    This report provides the main results and findings of the fifteenth annual underwater television on the Aran, Galway Bay and Slyne head Nephrops grounds, ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 17. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, fishing, CTD and other ecosystem data. In 2016 a total of 45 UWTV stations were successfully completed, 34 on the Aran Grounds, 7 on Galway Bay and 4 on Slyne Head patches. The mean burrow density observed in 2016, adjusted for edge effect, was medium at 0.29 burrows/m². The final krigged burrow abundance estimate for the Aran Grounds was 343 million burrows with a CV (or relative standard error) of 3 %. The final abundance estimate for Galway Bay and Slyne Head was 25 and 11 million burrows with CVs of 7% and 3% respectively. The total abundance estimates have fluctuated considerably over the time series. The 2016 combined abundance estimate was 32% lower than in 2015 and at 379 million and is below the MSY Btrigger (540 million). Using the 2016 abundance estimate and updated stock data implies catch of 489 tonnes and landings of 456 tonnes in 2017 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2013–2015). Virgilaria mirabilis was the only sea-pen species observed on the UWTV footage. Trawl marks were present at 20% of the Aran stations surveyed.
  • Porcupine Bank Nephrops Grounds (FU16) 2016 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2017

    Doyle, J.; Lordan, C.; Fitzgerald, R.; O'Brien, S.; Allsop, C.; Kelly, C.; McArdle, J. (Marine Institute, 2016)
    This report provides the results of the fourth underwater television on the ‘Porcupine Bank Nephrops grounds’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 16. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, CTD and other ecosystem data. In total 65 UWTV stations were successfully completed in a randomised 6 nautical mile isometric grid covering the full spatial extent of the stock. The mean burrow density observed in 2016, adjusted for edge effect, was 0.13 burrows/m². The final krigged abundance estimate was 958 million burrows with a relative standard error of 4% and an estimated stock area of 7,108km2. The 2016 abundance estimate was 32% higher than in 2014. There was no UWTV survey in 2015 due to vessel breakdown prior to survey. Using the 2016 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch of 3,100 tonnes and landings of 3,100 tonnes in 2017 when MSY approach is applied (assuming that all catch is landed). The three species of sea-pen; Virgularia mirabilis, Funiculina quadrangularis and Pennatula phosphorea, were all observed during the survey. The deepwater sea-pen Kophobelemnon stelliferum was also observed and its presence/absence mapped from the available time-series. Trawl marks were also observed on 30% of the stations surveyed
  • Western European Shelf Pelagic Acoustic Survey (WESPAS) 16 June - 30 July, 2016

    O'Donnell, C.; Nolan, C.; Johnson, G.; O'Malley, M.; Mullins, E.; Keogh, N.; O'Callaghan, S.; Keogh, H.; Grassie, A.; Nicholas, S. (Marine Instiute, 2016)
    The WESPAS survey program is the consolidation of two existing survey programs carried out by FEAS. The Main Shelf herring acoustic survey has been carried out annually since 2008 and reports on the annual abundance of summer feeding aggregations of herring to the west of Scotland and north of Ireland from 54N to 59N. The boarfish survey has been carried out since 2011using a chartered fishing vessel and reports on the abundance of spawning aggregations of boarfish 47N to 57N. In 2016 both surveys were combined and carried out onboard the RV Celtic Explorer over a 42 day period providing synoptic coverage of shelf waters from 59N southwards to 47N.
  • Transatlantic ocean climate sections (Rockall Trough and Iceland Basin): Cruise CE14008

    Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2015)
    Cruise objectives: • Collect CTD profile data along the standard offshore sections to include: o Nutrient sampling o Salinity samples o DIC, DOC and TA samples • Collect grab samples at Eudoras Bank for Plymouth Marine Laboratory • Grapple for upper section of M6 mooring at Porcupine Bank • Collect phytoplankton samples at select locations along the extended section. • Collect multi-beam bathy data in the vicinity of Inishturk and Inishboffin.
  • Standard oceanographic sections in the Rockall Trough: Cruise CE13001

    Marine Institute (Marine Institute, 2013)
    Cruise objectives: • Collect CTD profile data along the standard offshore sections to include: o Nutrient sampling o Salinity samples o DIC, TA, DOC, TOC ,DO samples • Collect grab samples at key locations on the Irish shelf • Deploy offshore weather buoy at Belmullet • Deploy ADCP at WETS Belmullet site • Recover existing Wavescan buoy at Belmullet • Collect multi-beam bathy data in the vicinity of Inishturk and Inishboffin.

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