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The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport has been advised that the annual Irish Groundfish Survey (IGFS) will be carried out off the northwest coast of Ireland between the 31st of October and 14th of December 2019 by the Marine Institute.

The IGFS is a demersal trawl survey consisting of approximately 170 fishing hauls of 30-minute duration each in ICES area VIa, VIIb, VIIg and VIIj. The approximate location of these hauls is given in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2. As part of the requirements for the 2019 survey, fishing will take place within a 2 nautical mile radius of these indicative positions.

The survey will be conducted by the R.V. ‘Celtic Explorer’ (Callsign: EIGB). The vessel will display appropriate lights and signals. She will be towing a high headline GOV 36/47 demersal trawl during fishing operations.

The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a 2 nautical miles area around the tow mid-points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period outlined above. While there is no statutory provision for the loss of gear at sea, the Marine Institute will make every effort to avoid gear adequately marked according to legislation[1] that may be encountered in the notified areas.

In the event that an operator has static gear or other obstructions within 2 nautical miles of the points listed above, it is the responsibility of the owner to notify the survey managers or vessel directly. This should be communicated by identifying specifically which “Prime Station” is of concern using the Appendix and contact details provided. It is not required to provide positional details of commercial operations beyond 3-4 nautical miles of the survey points provided.

Specifics of any fishing gear or other obstructions that are known and cannot be kept clear of the survey haul locations can be notified using the contact details below:

David Stokes, Marine Institute: david.stokes@marine.ie

Research Vessel Operations, Marine Institute: rv@marine.ie

A copy of Marine Notice 47 of 2019 can be found here

[1] Articles 9-17 of EU Regulation 404-2011, available at – http://eur-lex.europa.eu. For an overview of regulations: http://www.bim.ie/media/bim/content/downloads/BIM%20Fisheries%20Management%20Chart%202015.pdf