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  Scotia ICES Mgt area VIA Bottom trawl survey targeting juvenile gadoid species. Feb 15th  Mar 6th N/A
 UK FV Achilles  Irish Sea To estimate the distribution, abundance and population structure of cod, haddock and whiting by semi-pelagic trawling, using commercial fishing gear. Feb 20th Mar 25th TBC
 UK CEFEAS Endeveour  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.  Feb 20th  April 15th TBC
UK Queen of Ulster North West of Ireland Retrieval and Redeployment OF ACOUSTIC ARRAY. Feb 20th April 3rd TBC
Spain Vizconde De Eza South Porcupine bank & Porcupine Seabigh Acoustic abundance estimates and distribution patterns of blue whiting. Mar 2nd Mar 12th  TBC
Netherlands Tridens Western Approaches & West of Ireland Estimate the spawning stock abundance of Blue Whiting using acoustic methods. Mar 21st April 8th Berth available
Spain Ramon Margalef Northeastern Atlantic To estimate the spawning stock biomass of the northeastern Atlantic mackerel and horse mackerel stock. Mar 20th  April 3rd  TBC
Norway Vikingbank Porcupine Bank and SE  of Rockall Bank To catch regulation devices in the Blue Whiting fisheries. Mar 22nd April 11th  TBC
UK Altaire Scottish and Irish West Coast Blue whiting survey to acoustically determine the stock biomass in the east Atlantic. Mar 23rd April 19th TBC
Germany Walther Herwig III West Ireland and Porcupine Bank, the Celtic Sea.

The main objective of the survey is to produce both an index and a direct estimate
of the biomass of the north east Atlantic mackerel stock and an egg production index for
the southern and western horse mackerel stocks.

Mar 23rd April 23rd Berth available
Norway MV Vendla Atlantic Ocean Northwest of Ireland The cruise is part of the international blue whiting survey coordinated through the ICES working group of International Pelagic surveys with participants from Ire, Norway, the NLs, Faroes and Spain. Mar 24th April 2nd  Berth available
Denmark Jakup Sverri British Isles, Porcupine and Rockall Bank Assess the spawning stock of blue whiting in April as part of the joint international IBWSS on the spawning grounds. Mar 24th  Mar 31st 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. April 11th April 30th N/A
Norway Fiskebas West of Ireland and Scotland Tagging and biological sampling of mackerel. April 18th May 26th Berth Available
UK James Cook Whittard Canyon/PAP-SO Sustained observatory (Annual service visit; High Seas), and mooring recovery and deployment in Whittard Canyon. May 1st May 9th TBC
Netherlands Tridens North Atlantic Ocean, Celtic Sea, Bay of Biscay 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. May 9th  May 27th  TBC
UK Scotia West of Ireland Cthyoplankton survey to estimate total annual egg production for the western mackerel and horse mackerel stock in 2022. May 13th June 2nd  Berth Available
Germany RV Maria Continental Shelf adjacent to the Rockall Trough To investigate the carbon and nitrogen cycling in the shelf region off Western Ireland and compare this to the open ocean productivity and export. May 21st June 4th TBC
Netherlands Tridens North Atlantic Ocean, Celtic Sea, Bay of Biscay Biomass estimation of mackerel and horse mackerel stock. 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 6th  June 24th  TBC
UK Altaire Scottish, Irish and French West Coast Mackerel egg survey, to determine the spawning distribution of mackerel in  the Atlantic. To    collect data of the presence and distribution of mackerel eggs, to collect data on oocyte development and fecundity of female mackerel and to obtain hydrographical data. July 5th July 26th Berth Available
UK Discovery Whittard Canyon, the canyon interfluves and canyon heads, Lower Whittard Channel The Oceanids programme goals were to develop Marine Autonomous Systems and their associated sensors.  July 6th  July 23rd Berth Available
UK Discovery Rockall Trough Bottom Boundary Layer Turbulence and Abyssal Recipes (BLT Recipes) Aug 1st  Sept 5th Berth Available
Belgium RV Belgica South of Ireland DynaMOD : an oceanographic and sediment DYNAmic MODelling study of mounded contourite drifts. Aug 2nd Aug 18th  Survey Cancelled
UK James Cook

Whittard Canyon and the Porcupine Abyssal Plain

Habitat mapping in Whittard Canyon and Porcupine Abyssal Plain Aug 9th  Sep 9th TBC
UK RRS Sir David Attenborough

SDA Science Trials 1

Acoustic and winch trials to develop and demonstrate scientific capability of the RRS Sir David Attenborough. It will include manufacturer at sea acceptance trials, winch trials, safe working practice development, scientific rigour validation of ship science capability. Aug 14th Sep 8th Berth Available
UK RV Prince Madog

South East Irish Coast

Glacial processes impacting seabed dynamics as a key consideration for renewable energy projects. Aug 24th  Sep 5th Berth Available
UK CEFAS Endeaveour

Irish Sea and Celtic Sea

To carry out a 4m beam trawl survey of ground-fish 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 1st Oct 1st N/A
UK MV Scotia

ICES Management Area Vlb

Bottom trawl survey targeting Haddock and other commercial species on Rockall Bank Sep 2nd  Sep 12th N/A
UK Queen Of Ulster

North West of Ireland

RETREIVAL and Redeployment OF ACOUSTIC ARRAY IN THE NORTH WEST OF IRELAND. (The SeaMonitor - EU INTERREG VA Project) Sep 11th  Nov 1st N/A
UK MV Scotia          

ICES Management Area Vla and Vlb

Bottom trawl survey targeting commercial species on the continental slope and adjacent areas Sep 15th  Sep 26th  N/A
Spain Vizconde De Eza

Porcupine bank & SW Ireland

Abundance estimations & distribution patterns of demersal-benthic species. Sep 23rd Oct 14th N/A
France RV Thalassa

Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscay

French Bottom Trawl Surveys in Bay of Biscay and Celtic Sea Oct 21st Dec 5th  Berth Unavailable
UK MV 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 15th Dec 5th Berth Unavailable
Northern Ireland Corystes Northern/Western Irish Sea Various research surveys, including Oceanographic surveys. Jan  Dec TBC