This review presents information on the status of selected shellfish stocks in Ireland. In addition, data on the fleet and landings of shellfish species (excluding Nephrops and mussels) are presented.
The intention of this annual review is to present stock assessment and management advice for shellfisheries that may be subject to new management proposals or where scientific advice is required in relation to assessing the environmental impact of shellfish fisheries especially in areas designated under European Directives.
The review reflects the recent work of the MI in the biological assessment of shellfish fisheries and their interaction with the environment. The information and advice presented here for shellfish is complementary to that presented in the MI Stock Book on demersal and pelagic fisheries. Separate treatment of shellfish is warranted as their biology and distribution, the assessment methods that can be applied to them and the system under which they are managed, all differ substantially to demersal and pelagic stocks.
The total registered capacity of the Irish fishing fleet, as of December 2019, was 65,489 gross tonnes (GTs) and 2,004 vessels(Table 2-1).
The polyvalent general segment was the largest and included 32,227 GTs and 1,393 vessels.
The polyvalent potting segment had 330 registered vessels and 700 GTs while the bivalve (specific) segment had 2,266 GTs and 151 vessels. There were 10 beam trawl vessels and 23 pelagic vessels with capacity of 1,139 and 24,876 GTs respectively.
The Irish fleet is currently divided into 5 segments. Of these five segments (Aquaculture, Specific, Polyvalent, Beam Trawl and RSW Pelagic) two are broken into sub-segments, namely the Polyvalent and Specific Segments. Aquaculture vessels do not have fishing entitlements.
Beam trawl vessels fish mixed demersal fish using beam trawls and RSW Pelagic are large pelagic vessels with refrigerated seawater tanks and target pelagic species.
The Polyvalent Segment is divided into the following four Sub-segments; (1) Polyvalent [Potting] Sub-segment; vessels of <12 m length overall (LOA) fishing exclusively by means of pots. Such vessels are also <20 GT. Target species are crustaceans and whelk.
(2) Polyvalent [Scallop] Sub-segment; vessels ≥10 m LOA with the required scallop (Pecten maximus) fishing history. These vessels also retain fishing entitlements for other species excluding those listed in Determination No. 21/2013.
(3) Polyvalent [<18 m LOA] Sub-segment; Vessels with fishing entitlements for a broad range of species other than those fisheries which are authorised or subject to secondary licencing as listed in Determination No. 21/2013 (http://agriculture.gov.ie/fisheries/).
(4) Polyvalent [≥18 m LOA] Sub-segment; Vessels with fishing entitlements for a broad range of species other than those fisheries which are authorised or subject to secondary licencing as listed in Determination No. 28/2018.
For full information on the Report click here