Now showing items 1-20 of 176

    • Celtic Sea Herring Acoustic Survey Cruise Report 2020, 04 - 24 October, 2020

      O’Donnell, C.; Mullins, E.; Lyons, K.; Connaughton, P.; Perez Tadeo, M. (Marine Institute, 2020)
      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.
    • Western European Shelf Pelagic Acoustic Survey (WESPAS), 03 June – 12 July, 2020

      O'Donnell, Ciaran; O’Malley, M.; Smith, T.; O’Brien, S.; Mullins, E.; Connaughton, P.; Perez Tadeo, M.; Barile, C. (Marine Institute, 2020)
      The WESPAS survey program is the consolidation of two existing survey programs carried out by FEAS, the Malin Shelf herring acoustic survey, and the boarfish acoustic survey. 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 the north and west of Ireland from 54°N to 58°30’N. The boarfish survey was conducted from 2011 using a chartered fishing vessel and reported the abundance of spawning aggregations of boarfish from 47°N to 57°N. In 2016 both surveys were combined into the WESPAS survey and have been carried out onboard the RV Celtic Explorer over a 42-day period, providing synoptic coverage of shelf waters from 47°30’N northwards to 58°30’N. Age stratified relative stock abundance estimates of boarfish, herring and horse mackerel within the survey area were calculated using acoustic data and biological data from trawl sampling. Stock estimates of boarfish and horse mackerel were submitted to the ICES assessment Working Group for Widely Distributed Stocks (WGWIDE) meeting in August 2020. Herring estimates are submitted to the Herring Assessment Working Group (HAWG) meeting in March every year. Survey performance will be reviewed at the ICES Planning Group meeting for International Pelagic Surveys (WGIPS) meeting in January 2021.
    • The “Smalls” Nephrops Grounds (FU22) 2020 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2021

      Aristegui, M.; Blaszkowski, M.; Doyle, J.; Ryan, G.; McAuliffe, M (Marine Institute, 2020)
      This report provides the main results and findings of the fifteenth annual underwater television survey on the ‘Smalls grounds’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 22. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV and other ecosystem data. A total of 40 UWTV stations were surveyed successfully (high quality image data), carried out over an isometric grid at 4.5nmi or 8.3km intervals. The precision, with a CV of 8%, was well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS (ICES, 2012). The 2020 abundance estimate was 33% lower than in 2019 and at 750 million is below the MSY Btrigger reference point (990 million). Using the 2020 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch in 2021 that correspond to the F ranges in the EU multi annual plan for Western Waters are between 1238 and 1560 tonnes (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2017–2019). One species of sea pens was recorded as present at the stations surveyed: Virgularia mirabilis. Trawl marks were observed at 48% of the stations surveyed.
    • The Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks Nephrops Grounds (FU2021) 2020 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2021.

      Aristegui, M.; Tully, D.; Blaszkowski, M.; Doyle, J.; Fee, D.; O'Connor, S.; White, J. (Marine Institute, 2020)
      This report provides the main results of the 2020 underwater television survey on the ‘Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 2021. The 2020 survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, and other ecosystem data. A total of 97 UWTV stations were completed at 6nm intervals over a randomised isometric grid design. The mean burrow density was 0.102 burrows/m2 compared with 0.06 burrows/m2 in 2019. The 2020 geostatistical abundance estimate was 1020 million, a 65% increase on the abundance from 2019, with a CV of 5%, which is well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS 2012. Low to medium densities were observed throughout the ground. Using the 2020 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch in 2021 that correspond to the F ranges in the EU multi annual plan for Western Waters are between 1682 and 1710 tonnes (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2017–2019). One species of sea-pen (Virgularia mirabilis) were recorded as present at the stations surveyed. Trawl marks were observed at 36% of the stations surveyed.
    • Aran, Galway Bay and Slyne Head Nephrops Grounds (FU17) 20 20 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2021

      Doyle, J.; Galligan, S.; Aristegui, M.; O’ Brien, S.; Fitzgerald, R.; Tully, D.; McAuliffe, M (Marine Institute, 2020)
      This report provides the main results and findings of the nineteenth annual underwater television survey 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, CTD and other ecosystem data. In 2020 a total of 44 UWTV stations were successfully completed, 34 on the Aran Grounds, 5 on Galway Bay and 5 on Slyne Head patches. The mean burrow density observed in 2020, adjusted for edge effect, was medium at 0.29 burrows/m². The final krigged burrow abundance estimate for the Aran Grounds was 359 million burrows with a CV (Coefficient of Variance; relative standard error) of 4%. The final abundance estimate for Galway Bay was 27 million and for Slyne Head was 7 million, with CVs of 13% and 4% respectively. The total abundance estimates have fluctuated considerably over the time series. The 2020 combined abundance estimate (394 million burrows) is 20% lower than in 2019, and it is below the MSY Btrigger reference point (540 million burrows). Using the 2020 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catches between 443 and 508 tonnes in 2021 that correspond to the F ranges in the EU multi annual plan for Western Waters, assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2017–2019. Virgularia mirabilis was the only sea-pen species observed on the UWTV footage. Trawl marks were present at 7% of the Aran stations surveyed.
    • Porcupine Bank Nephrops Grounds (FU16) 2020 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2021

      Aristegui, M.; Blaszkowski, M.; Doyle, J.; Hehir, I.; Lynch, D.; Ryan, G.; Lordan, C. (Marine Institute, 2020)
      This report provides the results of the eighth underwater television on the ‘Porcupine Bank Nephrops grounds’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 16. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV 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 2020, adjusted for edge effect, was 0.17 burrows/m². The final krigged abundance estimate was 1264 million burrows with a CV of 4% and an estimated stock area of 7,130 km2. The 2020 abundance estimate was 25% higher than in 2019. Using the 2020 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catches between 2653 and 3290 tonnes in 2021 that correspond to the F ranges in the EU multiannual plan for Western Waters (assuming that all catch is landed). Four species of sea-pen; Virgularia mirabilis, Funiculina quadrangularis, Pennatula phosphorea and the deepwater sea-pen Kophobelemnon stelliferum were observed during the survey. Trawl marks were also observed on 22% of the stations surveyed.
    • FU19 Nephrops g rounds 20 20 UWTV s urvey r eport and catch scenarios for 2021

      Aristegui, M.; Doyle, J.; O’ Brien, S.; Tully, D.; McAuliffe, M; Fitzgerald, R.; Fee, D.; O'Connor, S.; Galligan, S.; Blaszkowski, M.; et al. (Marine Institute, 2020)
      This report provides the main results of the eleventh underwater television survey of the various Nephrops patches in Functional Unit 19. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, multi-beam and other ecosystem data. In 2020 a total 42 UWTV stations were successfully completed. The mean density estimates varied considerably across the different patches. The 2020 raised abundance estimate was a 20% decrease from the 2019 estimate and at 320 million burrows is below the MSY Btrigger reference point (430 million). Using the 2020 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch in 2021 that correspond to the F ranges in the EU multi annual plan for Western Waters are between 531 and 595 tonnes (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2017–2019). 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 26% of the stations surveyed.
    • Cruise report: Irish Anglerfish & Megrim Survey 2020

      Kelly, Eoghan; Gerritsen, Hans D; Coleman, Paul; Stokes, David; O’ Brien, S.; White, Jonathan; Aristegui, M.; O’Connor, Sean (Marine Institute, 2020)
      The 2020 Irish Anglerfish and Megrim Survey (IAMS) took place from 23rd February to 18th March (area 7bcjk) and 12-21st April 2020 (area 6a) on RV Celtic Explorer. The main objective of the survey is to obtain biomass and abundance indices for anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius and L. budegassa) and megrim (Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis and L. boscii) in areas 6a (south of 58°N) and 7 (west of 8°W). Secondary objectives are to collect data on the distribution, relative abundance and biology of other commercially exploited species. For the second year, additional sampling took place in deep water (up to 1,500m) in order to monitor the recovery of exploited deep-water species following the decline of the deep-water fisheries in Irish waters. The IAMS survey is coordinated with the Scottish Anglerfish and Megrim Survey (SIAMISS) and uses the same gear and fishing practices.
    • INFOMAR Survey Report CV19_04, Celtic Sea

      Sheehan, Kevin; INFOMAR Survey Team; Sacchetti, Fabio (Marine Institute, 2020-04-09)
      Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and Marine Institute (MI) conducted seabed mapping between 2003 and 2005 under the auspices of the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and this continued from 2006 to present day under the INtegrated mapping FOr the sustainable development of Irelands MArine Resource (INFOMAR) programme. INSS was one of the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken globally, with a focus on deep water mapping. INFOMAR is a joint venture between the GSI and the MI and is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE). INFOMAR Phase 1, 2006 to 2015 focused on mapping 26 priority bays and 3 priority areas around Ireland and creating a range of integrated mapping products of the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed in those areas. INFOMAR Phase 2, 2016 to 2026 intends to map the remainder of Ireland’s entire seabed. Figure 1 shows the extent of the continental shelf mapped area under INSS and INFOMAR and the outstanding areas as of January 2019. Grey have already been mapped, blue, white and coloured hatched areas are unmapped. As of 2018 the remaining survey area has been split at the 30 nautical mile limit (Nm). The inshore survey fleet, managed by GSI is responsible for mapping inshore of the 30Nm limit and the MI vessels are responsible for mapping the offshore. Survey areas are defined into gridded survey units known as INFOMAR Survey Units (ISUs). ISUs are all 1000 km2 in size and are uniquely identifiable by a letter on the x axis and number on the y axis. Each ISU is coloured in a shade of blue which indicates the modal water depth in that ISU. Colour scales are used, to denote the three depth bands; 50 to 100m, 100 to 150m and 150m plus.
    • INFOMAR Survey Report CV18_03, Celtic Sea

      Sheehan, Kevin; Quinlan, Vera; INFOMAR Survey Team (Marine Institute, 2019-03-29)
      The Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and Marine Institute (MI) conducted seabed mapping between 2003 and 2005 under the auspices of the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and this continued from 2006 to present day under the INtegrated mapping FOr the sustainable development of Irelands MArine Resource (INFOMAR) programme. INFOMAR is a joint venture between the GSI and the MI. The INSS was one of the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken globally, with a focus on deep water mapping. INFOMAR is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE). INFOMAR Phase 1, 2006 to 2015 focused on mapping 26 priority bays and 3 priority areas around Ireland and creating a range of integrated mapping products of the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed in those areas. INFOMAR Phase 2, 2016 to 2026 intends to map the remainder of Ireland’s entire seabed. Figure 1 shows the extent of the continental shelf mapped area under INSS and INFOMAR and the outstanding areas as of January 2018. Grey have already been mapped, blue and coloured hatched areas are unmapped. As of 2018 the remaining survey area has been split at the 30 nautical mile limit (Nm). The inshore survey fleet, managed by GSI is responsible for mapping inshore of the 30Nm limit and the MI vessels are responsible for mapping the offshore. Survey areas are defined into gridded survey units known as INFOMAR Survey Units (ISUs). ISUs are all 1000 km2 in size and are uniquely identifiable by a letter on the x axis and number on the y axis. Each ISU is coloured in a shade of blue which indicates the modal water depth in that ISU. Colour scales are used, to denote the three depth bands; 50 to 100m, 100 to 150m and 150m plus.
    • INFOMAR Survey Report CV18_02, Celtic Sea

      Sheehan, Kevin; McManus, Oisin (Marine Institute, 2019-02-26)
      The Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and Marine Institute (MI) conducted seabed mapping between 2003 and 2005 under the auspices of the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and this continued from 2006 to present day under the INtegrated mapping FOr the sustainable development of Irelands MArine Resource (INFOMAR) programme. INFOMAR is a joint venture between the GSI and the MI. The INSS was one of the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken globally, with a focus on deep water mapping. INFOMAR is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE). INFOMAR Phase 1, 2006 to 2015 focused on mapping 26 priority bays and 3 priority areas around Ireland and creating a range of integrated mapping products of the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed in those areas. INFOMAR Phase 2, 2016 to 2026 intends to map the remainder of Ireland’s entire seabed. Figure 1 shows the extent of the continental shelf mapped area under INSS and INFOMAR and the outstanding areas as of January 2018. Grey have already been mapped, blue and coloured hatched areas are unmapped. As of 2018 the remaining survey area has been split at the 30 nautical mile limit (Nm). The inshore survey fleet, managed by GSI is responsible for mapping inshore of the 30Nm limit and the MI vessels are responsible for mapping the offshore. Survey areas are defined into gridded survey units known as INFOMAR Survey Units (ISUs). ISUs are all 1000 km2 in size and are uniquely identifiable by a letter on the x axis and number on the y axis. Each ISU is coloured in a shade of blue which indicates the modal water depth in that ISU. Colour scales are used, to denote the three depth bands; 50 to 100m, 100 to 150m and 150m plus.
    • CV19_03 INFOMAR Survey Report, Celtic Sea.

      Sheehan, Kevin; McManus, Oisin; INFOMAR Survey Team (Marine Institute, 2020-03-02)
      Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and Marine Institute (MI) conducted seabed mapping between 2003 and 2005 under the auspices of the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and this continued from 2006 to present day under the INtegrated mapping FOr the sustainable development of Irelands MArine Resource (INFOMAR) programme. INSS was one of the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken globally, with a focus on deep water mapping. INFOMAR is a joint venture between the GSI and the MI and is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE). INFOMAR Phase 1, 2006 to 2015 focused on mapping 26 priority bays and 3 priority areas around Ireland and creating a range of integrated mapping products of the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed in those areas. INFOMAR Phase 2, 2016 to 2026 intends to map the remainder of Ireland’s entire seabed. Figure 1 shows the extent of the continental shelf mapped area under INSS and INFOMAR and the outstanding areas as of January 2019. Grey have already been mapped, blue, white and coloured hatched areas are unmapped. As of 2018 the remaining survey area has been split at the 30 nautical mile limit (Nm). The inshore survey fleet, managed by GSI is responsible for mapping inshore of the 30Nm limit and the MI vessels are responsible for mapping the offshore. Survey areas are defined into gridded survey units known as INFOMAR Survey Units (ISUs). ISUs are all 1000 km2 in size and are uniquely identifiable by a letter on the x axis and number on the y axis. Each ISU is coloured in a shade of blue which indicates the modal water depth in that ISU. Colour scales are used, to denote the three depth bands; 50 to 100m, 100 to 150m and 150m plus.
    • INFOMAR Survey Report CV19_02, Celtic Sea.

      Sheehan, Kevin; Sacchetti, Fabio; INFOMAR Survey Team (Marine Institute, 2020-02-03)
      Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and Marine Institute (MI) conducted seabed mapping between 2003 and 2005 under the auspices of the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and this continued from 2006 to present day under the INtegrated mapping FOr the sustainable development of Irelands MArine Resource (INFOMAR) programme. INSS was one of the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken globally, with a focus on deep water mapping. INFOMAR is a joint venture between the GSI and the MI and is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE). INFOMAR Phase 1, 2006 to 2015 focused on mapping 26 priority bays and 3 priority areas around Ireland and creating a range of integrated mapping products of the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed in those areas. INFOMAR Phase 2, 2016 to 2026 intends to map the remainder of Ireland’s entire seabed. Figure 1 shows the extent of the continental shelf mapped area under INSS and INFOMAR and the outstanding areas as of January 2019. Grey have already been mapped, blue, white and coloured hatched areas are unmapped. As of 2018 the remaining survey area has been split at the 30 nautical mile limit (Nm). The inshore survey fleet, managed by GSI is responsible for mapping inshore of the 30Nm limit and the MI vessels are responsible for mapping the offshore. Survey areas are defined into gridded survey units known as INFOMAR Survey Units (ISUs). ISUs are all 1000 km2 in size and are uniquely identifiable by a letter on the x axis and number on the y axis. Each ISU is coloured in a shade of blue which indicates the modal water depth in that ISU. Colour scales are used, to denote the three depth bands; 50 to 100m, 100 to 150m and 150m plus.
    • INFOMAR Survey Report CV18_01, Celtic Sea

      Sheehan, Kevin; INFOMAR Survey Team (Marine Institute, 2018-12-13)
      The Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and Marine Institute (MI) conducted seabed mapping between 2003 and 2005 under the auspices of the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and this has continued from 2006 to present day under the INtegrated mapping FOr the sustainable development of Irelands MArine Resource (INFOMAR) programme. INFOMAR is a joint venture between the GSI and the MI. The INSS was one of the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken globally, with a focus on deep water mapping. INFOMAR is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE). INFOMAR Phase 1, 2006 to 2015 focused on mapping 26 priority bays and 3 priority areas around Ireland and creating a range of integrated mapping products of the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed in those areas. INFOMAR Phase 2, 2016 to 2026 intends to map the remainder of Ireland’s entire seabed. Figure 1 shows the extent of the continental shelf mapped area under INSS and INFOMAR and the outstanding areas as of January 2018. Grey have already been mapped, blue and coloured hatched areas are unmapped. As of 2018 the remaining survey area has been split at the 30 nautical mile limit (Nm). The inshore survey fleet, managed by GSI is responsible for mapping inshore of the 30Nm limit and the MI vessels are responsible for mapping the offshore. Outstanding survey areas are defined into gridded survey units known as INFOMAR Survey Units (ISUs). ISUs are all 1000 km2 in size and are uniquely identifiable by a letter on the x axis and number on the y axis. Each ISU is coloured in a shade of blue which indicates the modal water depth in that ISU. Colour scales are used, to denote the three depth bands; 50 to 100m, 100 to 150m and 150m plus.
    • INFOMAR Survey Report CV19_01, Celtic Sea

      Sheehan, K.; Sacchetti, F; INFOMAR Survey Team (Marine Institute, 2020-02-03)
      Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and Marine Institute (MI) conducted seabed mapping between 2003 and 2005 under the auspices of the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and this continued from 2006 to present day under the INtegrated mapping FOr the sustainable development of Irelands MArine Resource (INFOMAR) programme. INSS was one of the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken globally, with a focus on deep water mapping. INFOMAR is a joint venture between the GSI and the MI and is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE). INFOMAR Phase 1, 2006 to 2015 focused on mapping 26 priority bays and 3 priority areas around Ireland and creating a range of integrated mapping products of the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed in those areas. INFOMAR Phase 2, 2016 to 2026 intends to map the remainder of Ireland’s entire seabed. Figure 1 shows the extent of the continental shelf mapped area under INSS and INFOMAR and the outstanding areas as of January 2019. Grey have already been mapped, blue, white and coloured hatched areas are unmapped. As of 2018 the remaining survey area has been split at the 30 nautical mile limit (Nm). The inshore survey fleet, managed by GSI is responsible for mapping inshore of the 30Nm limit and the MI vessels are responsible for mapping the offshore. Survey areas are defined into gridded survey units known as INFOMAR Survey Units (ISUs). ISUs are all 1000 km2 in size and are uniquely identifiable by a letter on the x axis and number on the y axis. Each ISU is coloured in a shade of blue which indicates the modal water depth in that ISU. Colour scales are used, to denote the three depth bands; 50 to 100m, 100 to 150m and 150m plus.
    • Atlantic Herring in 6aS/7b, Industry Acoustic Survey Cruise Report

      O’Malley, M.; Smith, T.; Mullins, E. (Marine Institute, 2020)
      An acoustic survey of Atlantic herring Clupea harengus was conducted in ICES areas 6aS/7b in Dec 2019 using the research vessel RV Celtic Voyager and the fishing vessel MFV Ros Ard SO745. This survey is the fourth in a time series that is hoped will be developed into a long-term index of spawning/pre-spawning herring in 6aS/7b. The survey design is based on the predicted distribution of this winter spawning herring in this area. Poor weather negatively impacted the survey in 2019, resulting in fewer transect miles completed and fewer strata areas covered than planned. In total, approximately 600nmi of cruise track was completed using 96 transects. This resulted in a total area coverage of approximately 606 nmi², a significant reduction compared to recent years. Parallel transect spacing was set at 3.5nmi for the Donegal Bay strata. Tightly spaced zig-zag transects were used in a relatively small area in Lough Swilly. A Simrad ES-120 7CD (120 kHz) split-beam echosounder was used to collect acoustic raw data. The transducer was mounted on a towed body from the Celtic Voyager in Donegal Bay and was pole mounted from the Ros Ard in Lough Swilly. Very strong herring marks were evident in Lough Swilly in deepest part of the channel. The herring marks continued for many miles in the upper Swilly, an area where boats in the monitoring fishery had also concentrated effort. There were some herring marks in discreet areas around Drumanoo Head, Bruckless Bay and Inver Bay in the Donegal Bay Strata. Biological samples from the monitoring fishery of herring were used to augment the samples from the survey. Herring samples were taken from boats fishing in Lough Swilly and Inver Bay as close spatially and temporally as possible to the survey in these areas. Herring were dominated overall by 1- and 2-wr fish, (52% of the overall numbers) followed by relatively strong 3- and 5-wr cohorts. The total stock biomass (TSB) estimate of herring for the combined 6aS/7b area was 25,289 tonnes (Lough Swilly = 19,697 tonnes, Donegal Bay = 5,591 tonnes). This is considered to be a minimum estimate of herring in the 6aS/7b survey area at the time of the survey, and a significant decrease on the previous 3 years surveys. The reduction in the survey area completed as a consequence of the poor weather resulted in the survey not containing the stock in 2019. However, the overall CV estimate on biomass and abundance for the survey area completed is low (~0.17) in 2019. This is driven by the improved survey design in Lough Swilly, with reduced transect spacing and increased transect miles in this strata. The CV for the Donegal Bay strata is relatively high (0.63), this is mostly caused by the over-reliance on a few acoustic marks of herring in Bruckless and Inver Bays in particular and many transects with little or no herring marks. The survey in 2019 had to be altered due to weather, requiring a change in design and approach. However, the template of focusing on discreet areas was generally successful and may provide a template for future designs, particularly when reduced effort is necessary during poor weather or resource limits.
    • EMFF Offshore Reef Survey, Sensitive Ecosystem Assessment and ROV Exploration of Reef - SeaRover 2019 Cruise Report

      O'Sullivan, D.; Healy, L.; Leahy, Y. (Marine Institute, 2019)
      This report presents preliminary findings of the 2019 offshore reef survey over the Porcupine Seabight and adjacent areas. The survey is the final leg of an extensive three year project, beginning in 2017, that was coordinated and led by Ireland’s Marine Institute and INFOMAR (Integrated Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resource) and funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Marine Biodiversity Scheme and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
    • Celtic Sea Herring Acoustic Survey Cruise Report 2019, 09 - 29 October, 2019

      O'Donnell, C.; Mullins, E.; Lynch, D.; Lyons, K.; Connaughton, P.; Power, J. (Marine Institute, 2019)
      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.
    • Western European Shelf Pelagic Acoustic Survey (WESPAS) 13 June - 24 July, 2019

      O’Donnell, C.; O’Malley, M.; Lynch, D.; Mullins, E.; Connaughton, P.; Power, J.; Long, A.; Croot, P. (Marine Institute, 2020)
      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.
    • Western Irish Sea Nephrops Grounds (FU15) 2019 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2020

      Lundy, M.; McCorriston, P.; McCausland, I.; Erskine, K.; Lilley, K.; Heaney, G.; McArdle, J.; Buick, A.; Graham, J.; Reeve, C.; et al. (Marine Institute, 2019)
      This report provides the main results and findings of the 17th 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 2019 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 4.4 billion burrows. This was a similar result of that obtained in 2015, but a 10% lower than the abundance in 2018. In contrast to 2017 the spatial distribution of burrows shows a high density band on the central western area of the survey ground. The abundance remains within previously observed ranges and is above MSY Btrigger. 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 2020 implies a total catch option at Fmsy (=Fmax) of 10,377 tonnes estimated to result in landings of no more than 8,546 tonnes. Sea-pens were observed at 21% of stations with high densities observed in the south-west of the ground. Trawl marks were noted at 15% of the UWTV stations.