The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D., has received the 2019 Marine Institute Annual Stock Book today (Thursday 21 November 2019). The Stock Book, which is one of the principal annual publications of the Institute, provides scientific advice on commercially exploited fish stocks of interest to Ireland.
Minister Creed said, "The fishing industry is a vital part of Ireland's ocean economy. The information presented by the Marine Institute in the Stock Book is critical to the preparations for the annual Fisheries Council negotiations which this year will take place in Brussels on the 16 and 17 of December. The detailed stock-by-stock guide ensures we have the most up-to-date scientific advice on this renewable resource."
The Stock Book forms an important component of the sustainability impact assessment presented to Dáil Éireann annually before the EU fisheries negotiations commence. This year, advice was given for 74 stocks. Results show continued improvement in the number of stocks sustainably fished.
The Stock Book, which has been published by the Marine Institute (MI) since 1993, 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 scientific advice and services provided by scientists to the Department is a key focus of the MI 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, Marine Institute CEO. Marine Institute scientists participate in, and lead, many international working groups at the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). ICES assess fish stocks and provide scientific advice on how much can be sustainably fished. "ICES is a very important organisation for the Marine Institute where scientists from many countries share data and work together to deliver the impartial scientific advice required by the fisheries managers. This advice is presented in the Stock Book and is essential to sustaining our coastal communities" said Dr Connolly.
The Stock Book is also available electronically on the Marine Institute's web site as a PDF (https://oar.marine.ie/handle/10793/1433) and this year as an interactive app (https://shiny.marine.ie/stockbook/). Much of the scientific work that delivers the Stock Book is funded under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund scheme.
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About the Marine Institute:
The Marine Institute is the State agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation in Ireland. The Marine Institute carry out environmental, fisheries, and aquaculture surveys and monitoring programmes to meet Ireland's national and international legal requirements. The Institute also provides scientific and technical advice to Government to help inform policy and to support the sustainable development of Ireland's marine resource. The Marine Institute aims to safeguard Ireland's unique marine heritage through research and environmental monitoring. Its research, strategic funding programmes, and national marine research platforms support the development of Ireland's maritime economy.
ICES is an intergovernmental organisation whose main objective is to increase the scientific knowledge of the marine environment and its living resources, and to use this knowledge to provide unbiased, non-political advice to competent authorities. ICES science and advice considers both how human activities affect marine ecosystems and how ecosystems affect human activities. In this way, ICES ensure that best available science is accessible for decision-makers to make informed choices on the sustainable use of the marine environment and ecosystems.
To achieve this objective, ICES prioritises, organises, delivers, and disseminates research needed to fill gaps in marine knowledge related to ecological, political, societal, and economic issues. ICES delivers scientific publications, information and management advice requested by member countries and international organisations and commissions such as the Oslo Paris Commission (OSPAR), the Helsinki Commission - Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM), the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), and the European Commission (EC). www.ices.dk
The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) is the fund for the EU's maritime and fisheries policies for 2014-2020. The Marine Institute is implementing three schemes: Marine Biodiversity, Blue Growth & Marine Spatial Planning and Data Collection. The collection and use of biological, ecological and socioeconomic data is maximised by integration across the three schemes, adding value to existing sampling programmes and developing multiple data products for different end-user and policy needs.