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Marine Institute’s 2020 Stock Book Assesses 74 Key Fish Stocks

21st January 2021
Marine Institute’s 2020 Stock Book Assesses 74 Key Fish Stocks

The Marine Institute’s 2020 Stock Book is now available online and via an interactive online application. Every year the Marine Institute produces an overview of scientific assessments and advice on 74 key fish stocks of interest to Ireland. The Stock Book is one of the principal annual publications of the Marine Institute, informing the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine prior to the annual Fisheries Council negotiations. The Stock Book also serves as a valuable reference guide to a wide audience, including the fishing industry, managers, marine scientists, environmental NGOs, third level institutes and financial institutions.

The Stock Book, has been published by the Marine Institute since 1993 and in the last few years, the publication has also been accessible via an online application. The app allows users to quickly access the latest and historic scientific advice on most devices with a web browser. Interactive features such forecast graphs showing the consequences of following the scientific advice or choosing other scenarios in terms of catch for 2021 and future stock size in 2022.

The Stock Book integrates scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) with relevant information on Irish fisheries. Marine Institute scientists participate in, and lead, many international working groups at ICES.

Dr Ciaran Kelly, Director of Fisheries Ecosystem Advisory Services at the Marine Institute said, “The interactive app developed by the Marine Institute is shaping thinking on how independent scientific advice can be delivered to fisheries managers and other stakeholders in the future. Ensuring that the best available scientific evidence for decision making is easy to access and transparent to all.”

The scientific advice and services provided by scientists to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, is a key focus of the Marine Institute’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022. “These scientific services are essential to supporting our sustainable ocean economy, protecting and managing our marine ecosystems and meeting EU obligations” said Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute.

The Stock Book forms an important component of the sustainability impact assessment presented to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine annually before the EU fisheries negotiations commence. There has been gradual increase in the number of stocks that are sustainably fished in line with Common Fisheries Policy objectives in the last decade. The two most valuable species for Irish fishermen, mackerel and many of the Nephrops (Dublin Bay Prawns) stocks, are sustainably fished. However, there are also a number of cod, herring and whiting stocks that continue to remain at low levels despite management measures aiming to rebuild them.

The 2020 Stock Book is available electronically on the Marine Institute’s website and as an interactive app. Most of the scientific work that delivers the Marine Institute’s Stock Book is funded under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund scheme.

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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