• Aran, Galway Bay and Slyne Head Nephrops Grounds 2011 UWTV Survey Report

      Lordan, Colm; Doyle, Jennifer; Bunn, Robert; Fee, Dermot; Allsop, Chris (Marine Institute, 2011-10)
      This report provides the main results and findings of the tenth annual underwater television on the ‘Aran grounds’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 17. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, fishing, CTD and other ecosystem data. In total 76, 10 and 7 UWTV stations were successfully completed on the Aran, Galway Bay and Slyne Head Nephrops Grounds. The observed abundance estimate for the main Aran ground has declined by 23% relative to 2010. Abundance estimates have fluctuated over the time series. The 2011 abundance is the third lowest in the 10 year history of the survey. This is not a cause for immediate concern about the stocks sustainability. Raised abundance estimates for Galway Bay and Slyne Head are provided for the first time based on improved knowledge of the boundaries of those areas. Nephrops accounted for 26% of the catch weight from 10 beam trawl tows. The observed length frequency and maturity of female Nephops caught was similar to previous years. Various further investigations needed before the next ICES benchmark are discussed.