Minister Michael Creed TD receives Marine Institute Fish Stock Book 2018

Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan, Fishmonger Pat O'Connell and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD review the 2018 Marine Institute Annual Stock Book, which is one of the principal annual publications of the Institute, providing the latest impartial scientific advice on commercially exploited fish stocks of interest to Ireland.  Picture Cr Darragh Kane. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, has received the 2018 Marine Institute Annual Stock Book. The Stock Book, which is one of the principal annual publications of the Institute, provides the latest impartial scientific advice on commercially exploited fish stocks of interest to Ireland. The Stock Book is used by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine at the annual fisheries quota negotiations with the EU in December of each year and throughout the year at fisheries management meetings. The publication provides the latest scientific advice for fish stocks of interest to Ireland.

Minister Creed said, "The fishing industry is a vital part of Ireland's ocean economy. In 2018, the Irish fishing fleet has had access to quotas of 215,765 tonnes of fish, with an estimated landed value of over €266 million euro. The information presented by the Marine Institute in the Stock Book is critical to the preparations for the annual Fisheries Council quota negotiations which will take place in Brussels on the 17th & 18th of December. The detailed stock-by-stock guide ensures we have the most up-to-date scientific advice on this renewable resource."

The annual Stock Book contains an overview of all fisheries. The process for its compilation involves the Marine Institute meeting with industry and NGOs each quarter to discuss the results from the scientific programmes and the developing scientific advice. This information is also utilised in the overall sustainability assessment, which Minister Creed presents to the Oireachtas on an annual basis. The Stock Book, which has been published by the Marine Institute since 1993, is the primary reference text utilised by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in preparation for annual quota negotiations with the EU, in December of each year. Throughout the year, the Stock Book 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. It is also of interest in the status and management of marine fisheries resources in the waters around Ireland.

Dr Peter Heffernan, Marine Institute CEO, said, "The seas around Ireland are among the most productive and biologically sensitive areas in EU waters. The Marine Institute conduct comprehensive and broad science programmes in order to sustainably monitor and develop this valuable resource. Fisheries scientists collectively spend over 1000 scientific days each year at sea on the Institutes two research vessels, RV Celtic Explorer and the RV Celtic Voyager, surveying these fish stocks and their habitats. The scientific advice and services provided by our scientists to stakeholders is a key focus of our Strategic Plan 2018- 2022. These scientific services are essential to supporting a sustainable ocean economy, protecting and managing our marine ecosystems and meeting EU obligations. As part of the services provided, our scientists also participate in, and lead, international working groups that assess fish stocks and provide scientific advice on how many fish can be safely removed from this renewable resource. This is essential in sustaining our ocean economy for our coastal communities,"

The Stock Book is available electronically as a PDF and as an interactive document on the Marine Institute's web site

Much of the scientific work that delivers the Stock Book is funded under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund scheme.

This year's Stock Book was dedicated to the memory of Mr Joey Murrin and Mr Richie Flynn, R.I.P, who both passed away in 2018, in recognition of their leadership in the Irish seafood sector. Both men served on the Marine Institute Board providing expert advice and advocating the importance of the fishing industry for Ireland's coastal communities.


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.

About ICES:
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 ensures 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).

About EMFF:
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.