The Marine Institute is encouraging the fishing industry and recreational fishing community to report the capture of tagged cod in the Irish Sea and claim a monetary reward.
Tagging cod in the Irish Sea will enable research agencies in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom to develop a better understanding of cod mortality, abundance, distribution and movement patterns within the Irish Sea and surrounding areas.
Emma White from the Fisheries Ecosystem Advisory Service at the Marine Institute said with a low population of cod in the Irish Sea, it is vital that this stock is investigated.
"A huge effort will be made to tag several thousand cod in the Irish Sea over the next three years," Ms White said. "Any reports of the tagged cod will provide useful information to help us better understand the current behaviour of the fish and any factors that may have affected the cod stock.
"Our collaboration with science and industry partners is essential to this project, and together we can build our knowledge and share insights to assist in the recovery of this cod stock in the Irish Sea," Ms White said.
The amount of €25 will be awarded for cod captured with a red tag, and €75 for cod with a blue, yellow or pink tag. The cod must be stored whole and ungutted on ice, with the tag in place. The date and location (longitude and latitude) of capture, length of the fish, tag colour and its number should also be recorded.
Tagged cod should be reported to Emma White at the Marine Institute on +353 91 387 200 or Emma [dot] White [at] Marine [dot] ie . The Marine Institute will organise the collection of tagged cod captured in Ireland.
The cod stock in the Irish Sea has substantially declined in the last decades. Although the European Commission established measures to aid recovery in 2000, the stock has not responded as expected and the population of cod in the Irish Sea remains low in 2017.
This three year project is funded by the European Commission and is a partnership between three research agencies; Marine Institute (Ireland), Agri-Food and Biosciences institute (Northern Ireland) and Cefas, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (United Kingdom).
For more information visit the Irish Sea Cod Tagging Project.