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Marine Institute Launches 2021 Stock Book

7th December 2021
Dr Ciaran Kelly, Director of Fisheries Ecosystem Advisory Services at the Marine Institute with the 2021 Stock Book
Dr Ciaran Kelly, Director of Fisheries Ecosystem Advisory Services at the Marine Institute with the 2021 Stock Book

The Marine Institute has today launched the 2021 Stock Book, the annual publication which provides the latest impartial scientific advice on the status of 74 key fish stocks of interest to Ireland. It is available for download or through an interactive online application (www.marine.ie).

This is the 29th edition of the annual book, which also contains the latest management advice used by decision makers to set sustainable catch levels and fishing quotas for 2022. The publication is an invaluable reference guide to a wide audience, including the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the fishing industry, marine scientists, environmental NGOs, third level institutes and financial institutions.

In 2020, Irish vessels landed approximately 190,000 tonnes of wild caught fish worth more than €250 million at first sale. This, in turn, supports a valuable processing industry and other activities in our coastal communities.

Ensuring long term sustainability is a key objective of the Common Fisheries Policy and all stakeholders. To that end, every year, the Marine Institute undertakes an extensive data collection programme - multiple scientific surveys cover approximately 327,000 square nautical miles over 263 days, equating to 1,545 scientist days-at-sea. 

Onshore and at sea sampling programmes measure over half a million fish and estimate age for a further 50,000 individuals across all commercial species. Irish data is compiled with that from other countries through the intergovernmental organisation ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Seas). Marine Institute scientists play a key role in carrying out the assessments and developing the scientific evidence and advice at ICES. The Stock Book integrates the latest scientific advice from ICES with relevant information on Irish fisheries.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD said "I am impressed by the quantity and quality of data collected by our marine scientists in the Marine Institute. This work must inform all aspects of fisheries management and support the effective protection of our marine ecosystem in the seas around our coast and for the fisheries on which our fleet are reliant. It is important that the results of all the work is made accessible to industry and other stakeholders and I very much welcome the Stock Book for 2021 which I have now received."

Michael Gillooly, Interim CEO of the Marine Institute, said, "The seas around Ireland are among the most productive and biologically sensitive areas in EU waters. The Marine Institute conducts comprehensive and broad science programmes in order to sustainably monitor and develop this valuable resource.

"The scientific advice and services provided by our scientists to stakeholders are essential to supporting a sustainable ocean economy, protecting and managing our marine ecosystems and meeting EU obligations. As part of the services provided, our scientists also participate in, and lead, international working groups that assess fish stocks and provide scientific advice on how many fish can be safely removed from this renewable resource. This is essential in sustaining our ocean economy for our coastal communities."

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 gradual increase in the number of stocks that are sustainably fished, in line with Common Fisheries Policy objectives, has continued. Stocks of haddock, anglerfish (or monkfish), megrim, tuna, and some of the Nephrops (Dublin Bay Prawns), have increased in recent years and continue to be sustainably fished. Work also continues on stocks such as cod, herring and whiting.

The 2021 Stock Book is available electronically on the Marine Institute's website here and as an interactive app here. Most of the scientific work that delivers the Marine Institute's Stock Book is funded under the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF).

Published in Marine Science
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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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