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Publications & Reports

Publication InformationRelease DateFile Type

Alternative Marine Conservation Zones in Irish Sea mud habitat: Assessment of habitat extent and condition at “Queenie corner” and assessment of fishing activity at potential MCZ sites. Public

Dr Annika Clements, Dr Matt Service

27 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in Secretary of State and English waters were designated by the UK government, acting through Defra, in a first tranche in 2013, followed by a second tranche of 23 MCZs designated in 2016. Consultation of a third tranche is planned for early 2017, including potentially a number of sites of particular concern to the Northern Ireland fishing industry (Slieve Na Griddle, South Rigg and Mud Hole). Defra previously identified that these three sites, which were originally suggested through the Irish Sea Conservation Zones project, require further consideration due to their location within important fishing grounds, and that their designation “could have a significant impact on the fishing sector, particularly within Northern Ireland”. Defra has encouraged the fishing industry to develop alternative site proposals for protecting subtidal mud habitats in the Irish Sea region, and that all available options will be then be considered in the third tranche of designations (Defra, 2015). Alternative sites were proposed following stakeholder engagement in a report for Seafish by AFBI in 2015 (AFBI, 2015); this concluded that the “least worst” options in terms of potential fishery displacement, yet representing the key habitat of interest, subtidal mud, were West of Walney in the eastern Irish Sea and a new site, “Queenie Corner”, in the western Irish Sea. West of Walney was included in Tranche 2 of the MCZ designations, and this included a co-location zone with wind farms which had held up its submission in Tranche 1. It passed through consultation and was designated in January 2016. The site proposed as “Queenie Corner” in AFBI (2015) was formally proposed to Defra for consideration in October 2015, with support of both the Anglo-North Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation Ltd. and Northern Ireland Fish Producers’ Organisation Ltd. However, due to the introduction of the Welsh Fishery Zone, the site had to be re-drawn to avoid overlap with this zone, which reduced the original site area proposed. During 2014 and 2015 additional surveys were completed by AFBI aboard the RV Corystes to provide the habitat evidence required for full consideration of Queenie Corner by Defra. Seafish provided funding for processing of samples and work up of these data to evaluate the presence, extent and condition of the habitat at Queenie Corner, and compare this to similar evidence at the remaining potential sites of Slieve Na Griddle, South Rigg and Mud Hole. This work is reported here, along with a comparison of fishing effort between 2006 and 2014 over each of these sites, and also West of Walney, to provide an overview of how these sites compare in terms of potential fisheries displacement should designation occur and management measures require banning of mobile gear fisheries.

March 2016Download PDF

Northern Ireland Scallop Larval Dispersal Background Study

Agri Food and Biosciences Institute

he Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Seafish and the Northern Ireland (NI) Scallop Association have recently completed a report investigating the optimal areas for scallop reseeding in the Irish Sea. This work was commissioned due to an increase in exploitation of scallops around the NI coastline and a desire by industry to be proactive in enhancing long-term sustainability of stocks. Sites selected through industry engagement as proposed reseeding sites were examined by AFBI scientists to ensure that they met the characteristics required for successful settlement of scallops. Seabed habitat maps were combined to provide information for the full sea area under consideration. Scallop catches from the annual AFBI scallop survey were mapped with the full habitat map to determine the areas where scallops were present and identify the underlying habitat type. This allowed a map to be created which showed the suitable habitat for adult scallops within NI waters. All of the proposed reseeding sites fell within areas of suitable habitat. To examine further characteristics of the proposed sites, a combination of measured and modelled data was used. Salinity, food availability, bed stress (natural physical disturbance of the seabed by wave action and/or tidal currents), particulate inorganic matter, suspended particulate matter, abundance of predators, spawning season, larval dispersal and hydrodynamic models were all considered. The above information was presented to the project steering group, and using the data provided, the steering group selected the most suitable sites for reseeding from the original 13 proposed sites. Three reseeding sites (Whitehead, Drumfad Bay and South Bay) have initially been proposed, with a fourth, Roaring Rock, having potential for any future reseeding plans. The NI Scallop Association will now present the results of this work to DAERA to ask for regulation to assist in the protection of these new areas through a ban on mobile fishing gear.

March 2016Download PDF

SR690 Potential Implications of the Landing Obligation on onshore seafood supply chains in the UK.

Marcus Jacklin

The aim of the work is to analyse the impact of the landing obligation in a whole supply chain context, and from financial, legal, operational and market perspectives. This project will:- •Map the UK supply chain and identify existing and perceived issues for each sector. •Assess the impact of issues in respect of changes in policy •Discuss potential consequences for each sector; for example, changes in operational behaviour, policy issues, loss of supply or loss of market. •Identify gaps in information and suggest better use of existing information. The analyses will be mainly qualitative.

December 2015Download PDF

Seafish Guide to RFS

Helen Duggan

Overview of the RFS including context for reasons for redevelopment, information on new structure, processes and indication of benefits from each sectors view point

October 2015Download PDF

County Down Seafood

Poseidon ARM and BTS

This report was produced by tourism specialists BTS, supported by fish industry experts Poseidon Consulting. It is a market based business plan, commissioned by the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership (SLLP), with funding from the EU and the South East Area Fisheries Local Action Group (SEAFLAG), to provide economic benefit to the South East Area which includes the fishing ports at Portavogie, Ardglass and Kilkeel. The analysis is designed to help develop the local market for locally caught seafood and local quality agricultural produce within Area. The project examines the opportunities for food tourism in the Strangford Lough and Mourne Mountains destinations, building on the concentration of the Northern Ireland fishing industry in the area, the quality of other local food produce and the number and the quality of local eating places across the area.

October 2015Download PDF