Foreign Vessel Surveys

Ocean View.

A number of Foreign Marine Scientific Research (FMSR) programs 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 the surveys as the Irish Observer onboard, please see details of our Foreign Vessel Observer Scheme to check that you qualify and how to apply. 


France Beautemps-Beaupré Goban Spur off the south Irish coast To improve local knowledge of the specific geomorphology and sedimentary architecture of a work area located on the southern flank of Goban Spur. Feb 1st March 30th N/A
UK Cefas Endeavour Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel and western Channel Groundfish survey to examine the distribution and relative abundance of fish stocks, and biological sampling of commercial fish species. Feb 13th March 1st N/A
UK Scotia ICES management area 6a Bottom trawl survey targeting commercial gadoid and other commercial species. Feb 15th March 8th N/A
UK FV Achilles Area Vlla - Irish Sea To estimate the distribution, abundance and population structure of cod, haddock and whiting in the Irish Sea. Feb 15th March 25th N/A
UK Cefas Endeavour Celtic Sea, Bristol/Western Channel Ground-fish survey using 4m beam trawls operating as part of the internationally-coordinated Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys. March 4th March 30th N/A
Netherlands Tridens West of Ireland To estimate the spawning stock abundance of Blue Whiting using acoustic methods. March 11th April 5th Observer confirmed
Spain Vizconde de Eza South Porcupine Sea Bight  To estimate both the spawning stock biomass and the total biomass at the spawning time of the European Blue Whiting stock by the echointegration method. March 15th April 5th N/A
Norway MV Vendla Atlantic Ocean Northwest of Ireland Blue whiting survey coordinated through the ICES working group of International Pelagic Surveys. March 21st March 30th No berth available for observer
UK Scotia The Rockall Plateau, NW slope and NW Ireland To conduct a trawl survey to estimate the abundance and distribution of Anglerfish. April 11th April 29th n/a
Norway Fiskebas Atlantic Ocean West of Ireland and Scotland Tagging and biological sampling of mackerel. April 19th May 16th n/a
UK - Scotland Altaire ICES management area 6A. 6B, 7B, 7C Ictyoplankton/Mackerel Egg survey to ascertain vertical distribution and abundance of gelatinous zooplankton in the water column down to 200m. May 14th May 27th No berth available for observer
UK RSS James Cook Porcupine Abyssal Plain and Whittard Canyon Operations at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory and to service a mooring in the Whittard Canyon, within Ireland's EEZ. May 20th June 12th N/A
UK RRS Discovery North Atlantic The BIO-Carbon program will deliver the new understanding of the role of marine life that is needed to make robust predictions of future ocean carbon storage. May 26th June 25th N/A
Netherlands Tridens North Atlantic Ocean and Celtic Sea To collect data of the distribution of Mackerel and Horse Mackerel eggs, to collect data on fecundity of female mackerel and horse mackerel and to obtain hydrographical data. June 10th June 21st N/A
UK RSS James Cook Goban Spur & Porcupine Seabight UK Met Office Open Ocean Buoy Maintenance – K1, K2 June 18th June 25th N/A
Belgium RV Belgica Gollum Channels & Porcupine Seabight Studying the sedimentary processes linked to the Gollum channels in the Porcupine Seabight June 29th  7th July N/A
UK Cefas Endeavour Irish Sea, Celtic Sea As part of CSEMP, we will use seabed samplers (Day grab) to collect 0.1m cube of sediment, which will be analysed for a suit of geophysical and chemical analysis, as well as microplastics July 15th July 25th N/A
USA OCEARCH North West coast of Ireland The goal of the project is to collect critical scientific data using telemetry and biological sampling of keystone shark species in the Eastern North Atlantic Ocean to assess the status of apex predators.  July 20th July 30th N/A
Switzerland Carlina Various locations within the EEZ To assess plankton biodiversity in epipelagic waters of the North Atlantic  Aug 1st Sept 1st N/A
UK Corystes Area Vlla - Irish Sea Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute Irish Sea Nephrops Assessment Trawl Survey Aug 12th Aug 16th Observer confirmed
Spain Vizconde de Eza Porcupine Bank Collect data on the distribution and relative abundance, and biological information of commercial fish in Porcupine bank area. Sept 22nd Oct 14th One berth available for an Observer
UK Scotia ICES management area 6B Bottom trawl survey targeting Haddock and other commercial species on Rockall Bank Sept 11th Sept 22nd Observer confirmed
France Thalassa Celtic Sea International Bottom Trawl Survey  Nov 9th Dec 6th

One berth available for an Observer