Now showing items 1-20 of 194

    • The Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks Nephrops Grounds (FU2021) 2021 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2022.

      Doyle, Jennifer; Ryan, G.; Aristegui, M.; Fitzgerald, Ross; Tully, D.; O'Brien, S.; White, Jonathan; Sullivan, M.; Lynch, Deirdre; McAuliffe, M (Marine Institute, 2021)
      This report provides the main results of the 2021 underwater television survey on the ‘Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 2021. The 2021 survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV and other ecosystem data. A total of 97 UWTV stations were completed at 6 nm intervals over a randomised isometric grid design. The mean burrow density was 0.12 burrows/m2 compared with 0.102 burrows/m2 in 2020. The 2021 geostatistical abundance estimate was 1202 million, a 18% increase on the abundance from 2020, 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 2021 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch in 2022 that correspond to the ICES MSY approach of 1978 tonnes assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2018–2020. One species of sea-pen (Virgularia mirabilis) were recorded as present at the stations surveyed. Trawl marks were observed at 21% of the stations surveyed.
    • The “Smalls” Nephrops Grounds (FU22) 2021 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2022

      Aristegui, M.; Fitzgerald, Ross; Lynch, Deirdre; White, Jonathan; Doyle, Jennifer; McAuliffe, M (Marine Institute, 2021)
      This report provides the main results and findings of the sixteenth 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 42 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 7%, was well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS (ICES, 2012). The 2021 abundance estimate was 13% lower than in 2020 and at 656 million is below the MSY Btrigger reference point (990 million). Using the 2021 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch in 2022 that correspond to the ICES MSY approach of 1257 tonnes assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2018–2020. One species of sea pen was recorded as present at the stations surveyed: Virgularia mirabilis. Trawl marks were observed at 24% of the stations surveyed.
    • FU19 Nephrops Grounds 2021 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2022

      Doyle, Jennifer; Ryan, G; Aristegui, M.; Fitzgerald, Ross; Tully, D.; O’Brien, S.; White, Jonathan; Sullivan, M.; Lynch, Deirdre; McAuliffe, M (Marine Institute, 2021)
      This report provides the main results of the twelfth underwater television survey of the various Nephrops patches in Functional Unit 19. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV and other ecosystem data. In 2021 a total 42 UWTV stations were successfully completed. The mean density estimates varied considerably across the different patches. The 2021 raised abundance estimate was a 16% decrease from the 2020 estimate and at 270 million burrows is below the MSY Btrigger reference point (430 million). Using the 2021 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch in 2022 that correspond to the F ranges in the EU multi annual plan for Western Waters are between 363 and 407 tonnes (assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2018–2020). One species of sea pen were observed; Virgularia mirabilis which has been observed on previous surveys of FU19. Trawl marks were observed at 19% of the stations surveyed.
    • Aran, Galway Bay and Slyne Head Nephrops Grounds (FU17) 2021UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2022

      Aristegui, M.; Doyle, J.; Ryan, G.; Fitzgerald, R.; White, Jonathan; O’ Brien, S.; Tully, D.; Sullivan, M. (Marine Institute, 2021)
      This report provides the main results and findings of the twentieth 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 2021 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 2021, adjusted for edge effect, was medium at 0.26 burrows/m². The final krigged burrow abundance estimate for the Aran Grounds was 311 million burrows with a CV (Coefficient of Variance; relative standard error) of 4%. The final abundance estimate for Galway Bay was 12 million and for Slyne Head was 9 million, with CVs of 2% and 2% respectively. The total abundance estimates have fluctuated considerably over the time series. The 2021 combined abundance estimate (331 million burrows) is 16% lower than in 2020, the MSY Btrigger reference and it is below point (540 million burrows). Using the 2021 estimate of abundance and updated stock data imply that catches in 2022 should be no more than 360 tonnes, according to the EU MAP and ICES MSY approach and assuming that discard rates and fishery selection patterns do not change from the average of 2018–2020. Virgularia mirabilis was the only sea-pen species observed on the UWTV footage. Trawl marks were present at 5% of the Aran stations surveyed.
    • Western European Shelf Pelagic Acoustic Survey (WESPAS), 09 June –20 July, 2021

      O’Donnell, Ciaran; O’Malley, M.; Mullins, E; Connaughton, P.; Keogh, Niall; judge, Justin; Croot, P. (Marine Institute, 2021)
      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 to the north and west of Ireland from 53°30’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 2021. 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 2022.
    • Porcupine Bank Nephrops Grounds (FU16) 2021 UWTV Survey Report and catch scenarios for 2022

      Aristegui, M.; Blaszkowski, M.; Doyle, Jennifer; O'Brien, S.; Hehir, Imelda; Bentley, K.; Fitzgerald, Ross (Marine Institute, 2021)
      This report provides the results of the ninth 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 71 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 2021, adjusted for edge effect, was 0.14 burrows/m². The final krigged abundance estimate was 1018 million burrows with a CV of 5% and an estimated stock area of 7,130 km2. The 2021 abundance estimate was 19% lower than in 2020. Using the 2021 estimate of abundance and updated stock data imply that catches in 2022 should be no more than 2804 tonnes, according to the EU MAP and ICES MSY approach (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 38% of the stations surveyed.
    • Atlantic Herring in 6aS/7b, Industry Acoustic Survey Cruise Report, November-December 2020 and January 2021.

      O'Malley, M.; Mullins, Eugene; Nolan, Cormac (Marine Institute, 2021)
      An acoustic survey of Atlantic herring Clupea harengus was conducted in ICES areas 6aS/7b in November-December 2020 and January 2021. The 2020 survey was conducted using five vessels; MFVs Crystal Dawn WD201, Ros Ard SO745, Johnny G S653, Abigail S SO354, and St. Catherine D299. The 6aS/7b survey design changed in 2020 compared with previous years in that only 6 core areas with prior knowledge of herring distribution from the monitoring fishery were targeted for surveying. This was largely based on the results from ICES WKHASS (ICES 2020) and from lessons learned in the previous surveys in this area from 2016-2019. This design resulted in a much reduced survey area compared to previous years, but with better coverage of most of the important inshore bays where the monitoring fishery takes place. The survey design objective remained the same; to capture the distribution of winter spawning herring in the 6aS/7b area, but this design was not expected to achieve overall stock containment. The timing of surveys in the core areas was flexible from the outset by design. It was decided that greater flexibility would allow for a targeted spatial and temporal approach which avoided the inevitable poor weather that can happen in this area during this time of the year and which lead to reduced survey effort in previous years. Using smaller vessels allowed surveys to be conducted in shallow inshore areas where herring are known to aggregate during this time of the year. This survey is the fifth consecutive annual acoustic survey for herring in this area at this time of the year. A pole-mounted system with a combi 38 kHz (split) 200 kHz (single) transducer was used successfully for the survey on small vessels (<18m) in 2020. Herring were again distributed inshore in shallow areas, and the improved survey design and use of small vessels for the survey resulted in a good measure of uncertainty (CV). The stock was not overall contained in 2020, particularly in the Donegal Bay area (Bruckless, Inver Bays, etc.) and more effort is required to target survey effort later in December and January when herring appear to show up in these areas in greater numbers. The COVID pandemic affected the ability to conduct surveys in late December. Very strong herring marks were evident in Lough Foyle and Lough Swilly in the channel in marks that extended for many miles. This was in areas where smaller boats in the fishery were concentrating effort. There was also a series of herring marks in Bruckless Bay, Fintra Bay and Inver Bay in discreet areas. There were a few small herring marks in the Achill strata. The monitoring fishery was being conducted on smaller boats in the same areas and close to the same time as the survey and biological samples from some of these vessels were used. There was a wide distribution of length classes in all hauls, with most hauls dominated by larger (> 22 cm) mature fish. The 2- and 3-wr age class of herring accounted for 54% of the overall numbers in 2020. The total stock biomass (TSB) estimate of 45,046 tonnes is considered to be a minimum estimate of herring in the 6aS/7b survey area at the time of the survey. The flexible survey design and focusing on discreet areas was generally successful and should provide a template for future survey designs.
    • Environmental Survey of Coastal Waters (Galway - Dublin – Galway): – Winter nutrients, benthic macro-invertebrate and contaminants monitoring 2021 (CV21-001).

      O'Beirn, Francis; O'Donnell, Garvan (Marine Institute, 2021)
      The 2021 survey continues the Marine Institute’s Winter Nutrients monitoring that commenced in 1990/91. The survey has evolved and expanded during this time period with respect to target areas, parameters and sampling strategy. In 2011 this survey was reestablished as a winter environmental survey with a broader remit to provide supporting information for OSPAR and Water Framework Directive (WFD- Directive 2000/60/EC) assessments and also to maintain the winter time series on key biogeochemical parameters in Irish waters in response to pressures such as land based inputs of nutrients and climate change. Since 2011 the survey circumnavigates the Island of Ireland every two years, alternating southabout and northabout, starting in the Irish Sea and ending in Galway. This provides a complete coverage of Irelands coastal waters over 2 year periods. However, given the timing of the surveys, winter by necessity to ensure minimal biological activity and therefore highest concentrations of dissolved nutrients, the weather is a significant factor in determining the actual as opposed to planned coverage of the target stations. This work is complementary to inshore water quality monitoring activities of the Irish Environmental Protection Agency and Marine Institute and the annual offshore oceanographic survey/climate section (53N/Rockall Trough) on the RV Celtic Explorer led by the Oceans Climate and Information Services group at the Marine Institute. The 2021 survey was designed to collect multidisciplinary information on physical conditions, water chemistry (dissolved nutrients, total alkalinity (TA), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and salinity), sediment chemistry (persistent organic pollutants POPs and trace metals), sediment particle size distribution and benthic macroinvertebrates (at targeted waterbodies around the coast). This contributes to data collection needs of various statutory drivers (WFD and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Directive 2008/56/EC) as well as providing a research dataset on status and changing conditions (trends and variations) for key environmental variables. As a result of the COVID pandemic, operational adjustments were implemented such that scientific complement on-board was limited to 2-3 persons at any one time. In light of this, the survey plan was adjusted to allow the survey to be completed in two legs. 1. Leg 1 – Galway – Dublin: benthic macro-invertebrate sampling 2. Leg 2 – Dublin – Galway: winter nutrient, carbon and contaminants sampling. In order to achieve this plan, the number of survey days was increased to 16.
    • CV20_01 INFOMAR Survey Report

      Sheehan, Kevin; INFOMAR Survey Team (Marine Institute, 2021)
      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 the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC). 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.
    • Environmental Survey of Coastal and Shelf Waters – Southabout: Benthos monitoring 2020 (CV20-001)

      Healy, Louise; O'Beirn, Francis (Marine Institute, 2020)
      Since 2011 the Winter Environmental Survey (WES) has operated with an allocated ship-time of up to 13 days on the Celtic Voyager and funded through NDP. These surveys alternate between south-about and a north-about each year with a southerly survey proposed for 20202. The survey covers coastal waters and bays but also shelf waters through offshore transects and as such are complementary to EPAs estuarine water quality monitoring activities. While all previous surveys have had a strong multi-disciplinary component to them incorporating both Chemical and Biological elements, the survey during 2020 was reduced relative to previous years. During 2020, the Chemistry portion of the survey was omitted as a consequence of resource (personel) limitations. However, during 2020 the survey focused on benthos ecological quality element and some chemistry validation elements. It is expected that the survey will revert to a full multidisciplinary programme in 2021.
    • Environmental Survey of Coastal and Shelf Waters – Northabout: Winter nutrients, benthos and contaminants monitoring 2019 (Cv19-001)

      O'Beirn, Francis; O'Donnell, Garvan; Healy, Louise (Marine Institute, 2019)
      The 2019 survey continues the Marine Institute’s Winter Nutrients monitoring that commenced in 1990/91. The survey has evolved and expanded during this time period with respect to target areas, parameters and sampling strategy. In 2011 this survey was reestablished as a winter environmental survey with a broader remit to provide supporting information for OSPAR and Water Framework Directive (WFD Directive 2000/60/EC) assessments and also to maintain the winter time series on key biogeochemical parameters in Irish waters in response to pressures such as land based inputs of nutrients and climate change. Since 2011 the survey circumnavigates the Island of Ireland every two years, alternating southabout and northabout, starting in the Irish Sea and ending in Galway. This provides a complete coverage of Irelands coastal waters over two-year periods. However, given the timing of the surveys, winter by necessity to ensure minimal biological activity and therefore highest concentrations of dissolved nutrients, the weather is a significant factor in determining the actual, as opposed to planned, coverage of the target stations. This work is complementary to inshore water quality monitoring activities of the Irish Environmental Protection Agency and Marine Institute and the annual offshore oceanographic survey/climate section (53N/Rockall Trough) on the RV Celtic Explorer led by the Oceanographic Science Services group at the Marine Institute. The 2019 survey was designed to collect multidisciplinary information on physical conditions, water chemistry (dissolved nutrients, total alkalinity (TA), dissolved organic carbon (DIC) and salinity), sediment chemistry (persistent organic pollutants POPs and trace metals), sediment particle size distribution and benthic macroinvertebrates (at targeted waterbodies around the coast). This contributes to data collection needs of various statutory drivers (WFD and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Directive 2008/56/EC) as well as providing a research dataset on status and changing conditions (trends and variations) for key environmental variables.
    • Environmental Survey of Coastal and Shelf Waters Killybegs–Cork: Benthos monitoring 2017 (CV17-001)

      Healy, Louise; O'Beirn, Francis X (Marine Institute, 2017)
      Since 2011 the Winter Environmental Survey (WES) has operated with an allocated ship-time of up to 13 days on the Celtic Voyager and funded through NDP. These surveys alternate between south-about and a north-about each year with a southerly survey proposed for 2017. The survey cover coastal waters and bays but also shelf waters through offshore transects and as such are complementary to EPAs estuarine water quality monitoring activities. While all previous surveys have had a strong multi-disciplinary component to them incorporating both Chemical and Biological elements, the survey during 2017 was reduced relative to previous years. During 2017, the Chemistry portion of the survey was omitted as a consequence of resource (personel) limitations. The Chemistry Section will focus efforts on surveys (GO-SHIP AO2 line, and Rockall Hydrographic Survey) to be carried out on the Celtic Explorer during Q1/Q2 of 2017. However, during 2017 the survey focused on benthos ecological quality element and some hydromorphological elements. It is expected that the survey will revert to a full multidisciplinary programme in 2018.
    • Environmental Survey of Coastal and Shelf Waters – Southabout: Winter nutrients, benthos and contaminants monitoring 2018 (CV18-001)

      O'Beirn, Francis X; O'Donnell, Garvan; Healy, Louise (Marine Institute, 2018)
      The 2018 survey continues the Marine Institute’s Winter Nutrients monitoring that commenced in 1990/91. The survey has evolved and expanded during this time period with respect to target areas, parameters and sampling strategy. In 2011 this survey was re-established as a winter environmental survey with a broader remit to provide supporting information for OSPAR and Water Framework Directive (WFD - Directive 2000/60/EC) assessments and also to maintain the winter time series on key biogeochemical parameters in Irish waters in response to pressures such as land based inputs of nutrients and climate change. Since 2011 the survey circumnavigates the Island of Ireland every 2 years, alternating southabout (odd years) and northabout (even years), starting in the Irish Sea and ending in Galway. This provides a complete coverage of Ireland’s coastal waters over 2-year periods. However, given the timing of the surveys, winter by necessity to ensure minimal biological activity and therefore highest concentrations of dissolved nutrients, the weather is a significant factor in determining the actual as opposed to planned coverage of the target stations. This work is complementary to inshore water quality monitoring activities of the Irish Environmental Protection Agency and Marine Institute and the annual offshore oceanographic survey/climate section (53N/Rockall Trough) on the Celtic Explorer led by the Oceanographic Science Services group at the Marine Institute. As in previous years, the 2018 survey was designed to collect multidisciplinary information on physical conditions, water chemistry (dissolved nutrients, total alkalinity (TA), dissolved organic carbon (DIC), salinity), sediment chemistry (persistent organic pollutants POPs and trace metals), sediment particle size distribution and benthic macroinvertebrates (at targeted waterbodies around the coast). This contributes to data collection needs of various statutory drivers (WFD and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) - Directive 2008/56/EC) as well as providing a research dataset on status and changing conditions (trends and variations) for key environmental variables.
    • Cruise report: Irish Anglerfish & Megrim Survey 2021

      Kelly, Eoghan; Gerritsen, Hans D; Stokes, David; Moore, S.J. (Marine Institute, 2021)
      The 2021 Irish Anglerfish and Megrim Survey (IAMS) took place from 8th February to 4th March (area 7bcjk) and 10-21st April 2021 (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 third 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. In addition, two extra days of fishing were allocated to target Marine Scotland stations north of 58°. The IAMS survey is coordinated with the Scottish Anglerfish and Megrim Survey (SIAMISS) and uses the same gear and fishing practices.
    • International Blue Whiting Spawning Stock Survey (IBWSS) Spring 2021

      Marine Institute; Wageningen Marine Research; PINRO; Faroe Marine Research Institute; Danish Institute for Fisheries Research; Spanish Institute of Oceanography; Institute of Marine Research (Marine Institute, 2021)
      Coordination of the survey was initiated at the meeting of the Working Group on International Pelagic Surveys (WGIPS) in January 2021 and continued by correspondence until the start of the survey. During the survey effort was refined and adjusted by the survey coordinator (Norway) using real time observations. The survey design was based on methods described in ICES Manual for International Pelagic Surveys (ICES, 2015). Weather conditions were regarded as exceptionally poor and all vessels experienced multiple days of downtime, with the exception of the Spanish vessel working in the Porcupine Seabight. This considered, the stock was covered comprehensively and contained within the survey area. The entire survey was completed in 19 days, below 21-day target threshold.
    • CE20_02 INFOMAR Survey Report

      Sheehan, Kevin; INFOMAR Survey Team (Marine Institute, 2021)
      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 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 programme succeeded the INSS which was one of the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken, with a focus on deep water mapping. INFOMAR is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC). 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 Survey Report CE20_01, Celtic Sea.

      Sheehan, Kevin (Marine Institute, 2021)
      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 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 programme succeeded the INSS which was one of the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken, with a focus on deep water mapping. INFOMAR is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC). 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 mapped area under INSS and INFOMAR and the outstanding areas as of January 2020. Grey have already been mapped, blue and coloured hatched areas are unmapped.
    • INFOMAR Survey Report CE19_01, Celtic Sea.

      Sheehan, Kevin; INFOMAR Survey Team (Marine Institute, 2020)
      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 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 programme succeeded the INSS which was one of the largest marine mapping programmes ever undertaken, 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 mapped area under INSS and INFOMAR and the outstanding areas as of January 2019. Grey have already been mapped, blue and coloured hatched areas are unmapped.
    • 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.