• Aran, Galway Bay and Slyne Head Nephrops Grounds (FU17) 2013 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2014

      Lordan, C.; Doyle, J.; Hehir, I.; Allsop, C.; Butler, R.; Burke, C. (Marine Institute, 2013)
      This report provides the main results and findings of the twelfth 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 total 31 UWTV stations were successfully completed in a randomised isometric grid design at 3.5nmi or 6.5km intervals over the known range of the stock on the Aran Grounds. The mean burrow density observed in 2013, adjusted for edge effect, was 0.32 burrows/m². The final krigged burrow abundance estimate was 317 million burrows with a CV (or relative standard error) of 4 %. Abundance estimates have fluctuated considerably over the time series. The abundance decreased significantly in 2012 and the 2013 estimate was 2% lower and the lowest estimate in the 12 year time series. Raised abundance estimates for Galway Bay and Slyne Head were also low for those areas. Using the 2013 abundance estimate together with updated parameters for mean weight and proportions of removals retained implies 2014 total catch advice fishing at Fmsy (=F35%spr) of 699 tonnes which results in landings of no more than 591 tonnes. Nephrops accounted for approximately 70% of the benthic catch by weight from 7 beam trawl tows. The observed length frequency and maturity of female Nephops caught was similar to previous years. Virgilaria mirabilis was the most common of the two sea-pen species observed on the UWTV footage (Pennatula phosphorea was also present).
    • Aran, Galway Bay and Slyne Head Nephrops Grounds (FU17) 2015 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2016

      Doyle, J.; Lordan, C.; Fitzgerald, R.; O’Connor, S.; Fee, D.; Butler, R.; Stokes, D.; Ni Chonchuir, G.; Gallagher, J.; Sheridan, M.; et al. (Marine Institute, 2015)
      This report provides the main results and findings of the fourteenth 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 2015 a total of 44 UWTV stations were successfully completed, 34 on the Aran Grounds and 5 on each of the Slyne Head and Galway Bay patches. The mean burrow density observed in 2015, adjusted for edge effect, was medium at 0.38 burrows/m². The final krigged burrow abundance estimate for the Aran Grounds was 480 million burrows with a CV (or relative standard error) of 6 %. The final abundance estimate for Galway Bay and Slyne Head was 56 and 20 million burrows with CVs of 15% and 4% respectively. The total abundance estimates have fluctuated considerably over the time series. The 2015 abundance estimate was 42% higher than in 2014 and at 556 million and is just above to the new MSY Btrigger (540 million). Using the 2015 abundance estimate and updated stock data implies catch of 991 tonnes and landings of 915 tonnes in 2016 fishing at Fmsy (assuming all catch is landed). Virgilaria mirabilis was the most common of the two sea-pen species observed on the UWTV footage. Pennatula phosphorea was observed at one station on the Slyne Head Nephrops ground. Key words: Nephrops norvegicus, stock assessment, geostatistics, underwater television (UWTV), benthos, CTD. Suggested citation:
    • 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.
    • FU19 Nephrops Grounds 2013 UWTV Survey and catch options for 2014

      Lordan, C.; Doyle, J.; Hehir, I.; O’Sullivan, D.; Allsop, C.; O’Connor, S.; Blaszkowski, M.; Butler, R.; Burke, C.; Stewart, P. (Marine Institute, 2013)
      This report provides the main results and findings of the fourth underwater television survey of the various Nephrops grounds in Functional Unit 19. The survey was multi-disciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, CTD, multi-beam and other ecosystem data. In 2013 a total 40 UWTV stations were successfully completed. Adjusted burrow density estimates varied considerably across the different grounds. The 2013 raised abundance estimate of 397 million burrows is a 20% decrease from the 2012 estimate. Taking into account the uncertainty (CV of 17%) this is not significantly different from abundance estimates in 2011 or 2012. Using the 2013 abundance and recent mean weight and discard implies 2014 total catch advice fishing at Fmsy (=F35%spr) of 618 tonnes which results in landings of no more than 521 tonnes.
    • FU19 Nephrops Grounds 2015 UWTV Survey and catch options for 2016

      Lordan, C.; Doyle, J.; Fitzgerald, R.; O’Connor, S.; Blaszkowski, M.; Stokes, D.; Ni Chonchuir, G.; Gallagher, J.; Butler, R.; Sheridan, M.; et al. (Marine Institute, 2015)
      This report provides the main results of the sixth 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 2015 a total 39 UWTV stations were successfully completed. The mean density estimates varied considerably across the different patches. The 2015 raised abundance estimate of 482 million burrows was a 24% decrease from the 2014 estimate. Taking into account the uncertainty (CV of 13%) there is no significant difference in abundance estimates since 2011. Using the 2015 abundance estimate and recent mean weights and discard parameters would imply total catches of 793 t fishing at Fmsy in 2016. This stock will be subject to the landing obligation in 2016 and the calculation of catch options assume that all catches will be landed in 2016. The catch can be partitioned into landings of 543 t and discards of 250 t. The estimated discards rates in FU19 are relatively high and impact of this on the catch options is discussed. One species of sea pen was observed; Virgularia mirabilis which has been observed on previous surveys of FU19.
    • FU19 Nephrops grounds 2020 UWTV survey report 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.
    • The Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks Nephrops Grounds (FU2021) 2015 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2016

      Lordan, C.; Doyle, J.; Fitzgerald, R.; O’Connor, S.; Blaszkowski, M.; Stokes, D.; Ni Chonchuir, G.; Gallagher, J.; Butler, R.; Sheridan, M.; et al. (Marine Institute, 2015)
      This report provides the main results of the 2015 underwater television survey on the ‘Labadie, Jones and Cockburn Banks’ ICES assessment area; Functional Unit 20-21. This was the second survey to achieve full coverage of the full area. The 2015 survey was multidisciplinary in nature collecting UWTV, CTD and other ecosystem data. A total of 96 UWTV stations were completed at 6 nmi intervals over a randomised isometric grid design. The mean burrow density was 0.20 burrows/m2 compared with 0.19 burrows/m2 in 2014. The 2015 geostatistical abundance estimate was 2.0±0.02 billion a 2% decrease on the abundance for 2014 with a CV of 3% which is well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS 2012. Highest densities were general observed towards the north and southwest of the ground, and there were also high densities observed close to boundaries. Using the 2015 abundance estimate and updated stock data implies catch of 3045 tonnes and landings of 2225 tonnes. Only one species of sea pen Virgilaria mirabilis was recorded as present at the stations surveyed. Trawl marks were observed at 30% of the 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.
    • The “Smalls” Nephrops Grounds (FU22) 2015 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2016

      Lordan, C.; Doyle, J.; Fitzgerald, R.; O’Connor, S.; Blaszkowski, M.; Butler, R. (Marine Institute, 2015)
      This report provides the main results and findings of the tenth 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 33 UWTV stations were surveyed successfully (good quality video footage) carried out over an isometric grid at 4.5nmi or 8.3km intervals. Of the planned stations 17% (7) could not be completed due to very poor or nil visibility conditions encountered at seabed. For these stations density estimates were filled-in using and average of historic values within 2nmi. The resulting krigged burrow abundance estimate for the Smalls ground decreased by 16% relative to 2014. The final abundance estimate was 1,363 million. The precision, with a CV of 7%, was well below the upper limit of 20% recommended by SGNEPS 2012. Using the 2015 estimate of abundance and updated stock data implies catch of 3,027 tonnes and landings of 2634 tonnes in 2016 fishing at Fmsy (assuming that all catch is landed). Only one species of sea pen Virgilaria mirabilis was recorded as present at the stations surveyed. Trawl marks were observed at 12% 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.
    • Western Irish Sea Nephrops Grounds (FU15) 2018 UWTV Survey Report and catch options for 2019

      Clements, A.; Butler, R.; Doyle, J.; Ourens, R.; Lordan, C.; McCorriston, P.; Burns, G.; McCausland, I.; Erskine, K.; Lilley, K.; et al. (Marine Institute, 2018)
      This report provides the main results and findings of the 16th 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 2018 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 4.9 billion burrows. This was a similar result of that obtained in 2011, and 9% lower than the abundance in 2017. In contrast to 2017 the spatial distribution of burrows appears more homogenous across the survey area, with high densities in the SW of the ground in shallower water, and higher densities in the NW of the ground in deep water. 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 2018 implies a total catch option at Fmsy (=Fmax) of 11,107 tonnes which results in landings of no more than 8,959 tonnes. The sea-pen species observed in 2018 was predominantly Virgularia mirabilis, with one potential observation of Pennatula phosphorea (which requires verification). Sea-pens were observed at 20% of stations with high densities observed in the south-west of the ground. Trawl marks were noted at 26% of the UWTV stations.