The Spanish fisheries research vessel Vizconde de Eza which starts work on the Porcupine 2022 project

The Spanish fisheries research vessel Vizconde de Eza which starts work on the Porcupine 2022 project

The Spanish research vessel Vizconde de Eza begins the Porcupine 2022 campaign to assess fishery resources off the west coast of Ireland.

The Spanish government considers the west coast of Ireland as “one of the most important areas to the Spanish fleet” and say that they are “committed to know knowledge and scientific research as the basis for sustainable and responsible fisheries management”.

The research vessel Vizconde de Eza, of the General Secretariat of Fisheries, left the port of Vigo on Friday 09 September, for the waters of the west coast of Ireland, where it will carry out the Porcupine 2022 campaign, with the aim of evaluating the demersal resources of this area, which is a fishery of great importance for the Spanish fishing fleet. The return is scheduled for October 14.

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The campaign will last 37 days, during which a team of 15 scientists will carry out studies with the aim of obtaining abundance indices for the benthic and demersal fauna of the Porcupine Bank, with special attention to commercial species of interest to the Spanish fleet , such as hake, monkfish, rooster and Norway lobster.

“These campaigns are one of the main methods of direct study of the exploited fishing populations, which derive from the need to obtain independent data on the fishing activity for the correct management of the target populations of the fishing grounds,” writes the Ministry for Fisheries in a press release,

“For the evaluation of fishery resources, data on stratified abundance indices of the main commercial species are obtained, the distribution patterns of demersal and benthic species are described, the spatial distribution patterns, the size distribution, the strength of the recruitments, location of juveniles and data on growth and reproduction of the main species. In addition, acoustic surveys will be carried out to characterize the seabed and hydrographic stations to obtain data on the water column.”

They continue:

“Porcupine 2022 is the twenty-second campaign in the area, which began at the proposal of Spain, once the Vizconde de Eza entered service, to respond to the communication of the “International Botton Trawl Survey Working Group” due to lack of data in the zone. Continuing with this type of research is essential in the field of the European Union in terms of fisheries and environmental management. With its development, the commitments acquired within the framework of the European “Data Collection Framework” and the National Basic Data Program are fulfilled.

“The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food maintains its commitment to better knowledge of the sea and its resources to guarantee their protection and sustainable management. For this reason, through the General Secretariat of Fisheries, it continues with the development of research campaigns on board its oceanographic vessels, which will undoubtedly lead to better knowledge and, therefore, to achieve sustainable management of the resources of the seas.

“The collaboration with the Spanish Institute of Oceanography facilitates the access and use of the vessels of the General Secretariat of Fisheries to the research staff and makes available to scientists the best equipment for the purposes of the campaign, helping them to optimize the available resources.”


The oceanographic vessels of the General Secretariat of Fisheries are a firm commitment of the Government of Spain, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, with the sustainable management of fishery resources. The ships Emma Bardán, Miguel Oliver and Vizconde de Eza carry out more than 500 research days each year in both national and international campaigns. To do this, they embark teams of scientists who assess the state of the fisheries with the aim of achieving the maximum sustainable yield.

The Vizconde de Eza, chosen to carry out this campaign, is one of the most sophisticated fisheries and oceanographic research vessels in the world. With a length of 53 meters and a beam of 13 meters, its dynamic positioning system allows it to remain in the same point without changing its position, which makes it possible to compensate for adverse conditions of waves, currents or wind.

The ship is a large floating research center as it has specialized laboratories (biology, physics, acoustics, humidity and computing) equipped with advanced scientific instrumentation. Her hull, reinforced at the bow, allows her to work on floating ice. In addition, she can perform bottom surveys up to 5,000 meters deep.

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