Displaying items by tag: fish stock
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has launched a summary report on the findings of fish stock surveys undertaken in all water bodies (lakes, rivers and transitional waters) during 2014. The report, ‘Sampling Fish for the Water Framework Directive’, also outlines the current ecological status of fish stocks in each water body.
IFI has been assigned the responsibility by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deliver the fish monitoring requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The fundamental objectives of the WDF are to protect and maintain the status of waters that are already of good or high quality, to prevent any further deterioration, and to restore all waters that are impaired so that they achieve at least a good ecological status.
The fish monitoring programme has been conducted annually since 2007 at specified locations. The second year of the third three-year cycle began in 2014 with an extensive surveillance monitoring programme; 70 river sites, 26 lakes and seven transitional water bodies were surveyed throughout the country.
Dr Cathal Gallagher, Head of Research and Development in Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “I would like to congratulate all who have contributed to the significant level of work which was undertaken in 2014. This work provides information on the ecological status of fish species present in selected waterbodies as well as information on their abundance, growth and population demographics for fishery managers, legislators, angling clubs, fishery owners and other interested parties”.
Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland, commented: “I welcome this summary report of IFI’s fish monitoring programme for the Water Framework Directive. The information captured in the report gives us an increased understanding of the dynamics and changes in our fish populations at sample locations throughout Ireland.”
2014 Report Findings
During 2014, 26 lakes were surveyed with 19 fish species and two types of hybrids identified. A total of 12,205 fish were recorded. Eel was the most common fish species recorded (96 per cent of lakes surveyed) followed by brown trout (81 per cent), perch (65 per cent), roach (42 per cent) and pike (38 per cent).
In general, salmon, brown trout, sea trout and Arctic char were the dominant species in the north, west and south-west of the country. Perch were recorded for the first time in a lake in Donegal. This introduction was illegal and the source is unknown; further investigation will be undertaken by IFI.
Experimental hydro acoustic surveys were carried out on Loughs Caragh, Allen, Melvin, Beagh and Leane to complement the routine surveys. Initial results show that Lough Allen has a large population of pelagic fish, dominated by pollan and juvenile perch; Lough Leane continues to sustain a good population of Killarney shad; Lough Beagh has a healthy Arctic char population; and Loughs Melvin and Caragh continue to sustain small Arctic char populations.
According to the report, 62 per cent of lakes were classified as ‘good’ or better status, with three sites having improved in status since they were last classified. The geographical variation in ecological status reflects the change in fish communities of upland lakes with little human disturbance versus the fish communities of lowland lakes subject to more intensive anthropogenic pressures.
A total of 14 fish species and one type of hybrid (roach x bream) were recorded in 70 river sites (or 50 water bodies) during 2014. A total of 13,480 fish were counted. Brown trout was the most common fish species recorded (96 per cent of sites), followed by salmon (77 per cent), eel (56 per cent), stone loach (50 per cent), minnow (39 per cent), and three-spined stickleback (39 per cent). Sixty per cent of river sites were classified as ‘good’ or better status, with two sites having improved in status since they were last classified.
A total of 50 fish species (or 40,362 individual fish) were recorded across two transitional waters (seven transitional water bodies). The highest number of species recorded in a water body was 29, in the Lower Shannon Estuary. Flounder and sand goby were the most widespread species, while sprat was the most abundant. Some important angling species documented during these surveys included brown trout, European sea bass, salmon, sea trout, pollack and conger eel. Overall both waters achieved ‘good’ status.
The report is available for review and download at wfdfish.ie/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/WFD_Report_2014_FINAL.pdf.
#fishstock – The CEO Dr Peter Heffernan of the Marine Institute presented the 2013 Stock Book to the Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine Mr. Simon Coveney in today.
The function of the Stock Book is to inform management decisions on fishing opportunities for the Irish fishing fleet in 2014. The Stock Book contains impartial scientific advice developed by the Marine Institute while working with other international scientists. This advice is developed using the latest available research, assessments and advice on the fisheries resource.
The Stock Book forms an important component of the sustainability assessment presented to the Dail annually before the EU fisheries negotiations commence. This year, advice was given for 59 stocks. Results show that 34% of the stocks were fished at sustainable levels, while 24% were fished above these levels and 42% were fished at unknown levels. The EU Commission have stated that the situation continues to improve with 39% of stocks overfished in 2013 compared to 94% in 2003.
"The Stock Book publication is key to our fisheries negotiations with the EU. It is critical I have the latest scientific information and that my decisions are based on sound science that supports sustainable fishing. We are now preparing for the introduction of a discards ban which will apply to stocks such as herring and mackerel from 2015 and to whitefish fisheries from 2016. We need to have regard for changes needed in fisheries management in the lead up to the introduction of the ban and the detailed information in the Stock Book will help us in our preparatory work." said Minister Coveney.
Minister Coveney also stated that "the seas around Ireland are among the most productive fishing areas in EU waters and in 2013, more than 1,040,117 tonnes of fish, with an estimated landed value of €1.161 billion were available to the fleets fishing there".
The Stock Book has been published by the Marine Institute since 1993 and has evolved considerably in that time period. The majority of the scientific advice presented in the Stock Book is formulated by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). The majority of the ICES scientific advice is released in June each year. This is to facilitate consultation with the fishing industry and managers on available fishing opportunities for the coming year.
Peter Heffernan (CEO Marine Institute) stated that "The information contained in the Stock Book represents a huge effort by the Marine Institute to produce the best possible science for the Minister. It is of vital importance to Ireland during the December Fisheries Council meeting"
The Stock Book is also of interest to a wider audience, including the fishing industry, marine scientists, managers, environmental NGO's, third level institutes, financial institutions and those with an interest in the status and management of marine fisheries resources in the waters around Ireland.
The Stock Book is also available electronically on the Marine Institute's web site here
The weir, which is estimated to date from the early Christian period, consists of a granite barrier with channels cut through it, designed to control the flow of water in the adjacent lagoon.
Connemara archaeologist Michael Gibbons suggests that the weir implies a considerable fish stock migrating through the area into the Barna river.
The remains of a large Iron Age fort which overlooks the site may also have given its name to the townland of Knocknacarra, which is now a populous suburb of Galway.
Meanwhile, further east at Mutton Island a medieval quay which predates the current lighthouse quay has been found.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.