• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.