Foreign Vessel Surveys

Ocean View.

A number of foreign marine scientific research programmes (FMSR) are undertaken in Irish waters each year. Summary details of the surveys are available in the table below. 

If you're interested in participating in any of these surveys as the Irish Observer onboard, please see details of our Foreign Vessel Observer Scheme to check that you qualify. 

All observers are required to comply with current Covid-19 safety regulations and protocols on board the relevant vessel. 


 UK CEFAS ENDEAVOUR (C END X/23) Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel and western Channel The aim is to resume the time-series (2018-2020) groundfish survey across the entire Celtic Sea region and western English Channel  Jan 1st  Mar 2nd N/A
UK MRV Scotia ICES Management area VIA Bottom trawl survey targeting juvenile gadoid species. Jan 15th Mar 6th N/A
UK FV Achilles Area Vlla - Irish Sea The objective of this survey is to estimate the distribution, abundance and population structure of cod, haddock and whiting in the Irish Sea by semi-pelagic trawling, using commercial fishing gear. Feb 20th  Mar 25th N/A
UK CEFAS ENDEAVOUR (C END 4/23) Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel and western Channel Ground-fish survey using 4m beam trawls operating as part of the internationally-coordinated Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys (WGBEAM) for southern and western waters and formed part of a coordinated survey with the Republic of Ireland  Mar 20th Apr 15th Observer participating
Netherlands Tridens Western approaches and West of Ireland Estimate the spawning stock abundance of Blue Whiting using acoustic methods. Mar 8th  Apr 13th N/A
Spain Vizconde de Eza South Porcupine Sea Bight up to North British Islands To estimate both the spawning stock biomass and the total biomass at the spawning time of the European blue whiting stock by the echo integration method March 25th  April 7th  N/A


MV Vendla Atlantic Ocean Northwest of Ireland Acoustic assessment of the blue whiting spawning stock Mar 21st Mar 30th  N/A
UK Scotia The Rockall Plateau, NW Slope and NW Ireland To conduct a trawl survey to estimate the abundance and distribution of anglerfish Apr 14th Apr 30th N/A
Norway Fiskebas Atlantic Ocean West of Ireland & Scotland Tagging and biological sampling of mackerel Apr 19th May 16th N/A
UK James Cook PAP and Whittard Canyon Long term oceanographic research at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory May 6th  May 21st N/A
France RV Thalassa Porcupine Deep Abyssal plain  APERO aims at reducing the gap between the quantity of organic carbon produced by photosynthesis transferred to the deep ocean and the carbon demand in the water column. Jun 2nd July 13th N/A
France RV Pourquoi Pas Porcupine Deep Abyssal plain  APERO aims at reducing the gap between the quantity of organic carbon produced by photosynthesis transferred to the deep ocean and the carbon demand in the water column. Jun 5th  July 16th N/A
Belgium RV Belgica Porcupine Seabight, Southwest of Ireland. This project studies the sedimentary processes linked to the Belgica mound contourite drift and the Gollum channels in the Porcupine Seabight. Jun 7th Jun 24th N/A
UK RRS Discovery Whittard Canyon, the canyon interfluves and canyon heads, Lower Whittard Channel DY166: NMF-MARS Commissioning and Science trials Jun 18th  Jul 5th Observer participating
France Expedition Tara Europa West Coast of Ireland The new Expedition ‘‘Tara Europa’ of Tara will sample marine coastal waters along the European coastlines, in c.a. 120 sites from 21 countries from Finland to Crete, between April 2023 and July 2024. This expedition is part of two larger exploration programs July 15th Oct 21st N/A
UK RV Prince Madog North East Irish Coast The main objective is to collect echosounder data and understand fish distribution and availability inside three of the main foraging areas of Manx shearwaters in the region. July 25th Aug 3rd N/A
UK RRS James Cook South west of the south-western limit of Irish EEZ, South of Porcupine basin, West of Western Approaches Basin.  Our overall aim is to quantify the interplay between serpentinisation and magmatism at magma-poor rifted margins as seafloor spreading is initiated.  Aug 29th Sep 26th N/A
UK Scotia ICES management area VIb. Bottom trawl survey targeting Haddock and other commercial species on Rockall Bank Sep 2nd Sep 12th N/A
UK Cefas Endeavour Irish & Celtic Sea To carry out a 4m beam-trawl survey of groundfish to i) obtain fisheries independent data on the distribution and abundance of commercial flatfish species, and ii) derive age compositions of sole, plaice, cod and whiting for use in the assessments of stock size. Sep 6th  Sep 25th  Observer participating
Spain Vizconde De Eza Porcupine Bank Bottom trawl survey Sep 8th  Oct 14th  Observer participating
UK Scotia ICES management area VIa and VIb. Bottom trawl survey targeting fish species on the continental slope and adjacent areas.  Oct 8th Oct 22nd N/A
France RV  Thalassa Celtic Sea Bottom trawl survey Nov 10th  Dec 5th Observer participating
UK RV Scotia Scottish and Irish West coast Demersal trawling survey to assess pre-recruit year class strengths of cod, haddock, whiting, Norway pout, mackerel and herring. Nov 11th Dec 4th Observer participating