The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D., last week received the 2019 Marine Institute Annual Stock Book. The Stock Book, which is one of the principal annual publications of the Institute, provides scientific advice on commercially exploited fish stocks of interest to Ireland.
Minister Creed said, “The fishing industry is a vital part of Ireland’s ocean economy. The information presented by the Marine Institute in the Stock Book is critical to the preparations for the annual Fisheries Council negotiations which this year will take place in Brussels on the 16 and 17 of December. The detailed stock-by-stock guide ensures we have the most up-to-date scientific advice on this renewable resource.”
The Stock Book forms an important component of the sustainability impact assessment presented to Dáil Éireann annually before the EU fisheries negotiations commence. This year, advice was given for 74 stocks. Results show continued improvement in the number of stocks sustainably fished.
The Stock Book, which has been published by the Marine Institute (MI) since 1993, 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.
The scientific advice and services provided by scientists to the Department is a key focus of the MI Strategic Plan 2018-2022. “These scientific services are essential to supporting our sustainable ocean economy, protecting and managing our marine ecosystems and meeting EU obligations” said Dr Paul Connolly, Marine Institute CEO.
Marine Institute scientists participate in, and lead, many international working groups at the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). ICES assess fish stocks and provide scientific advice on how much can be sustainably fished.
“ICES is a very important organisation for the Marine Institute where scientists from many countries share data and work together to deliver the impartial scientific advice required by the fisheries managers. This advice is presented in the Stock Book and is essential to sustaining our coastal communities” said Dr Connolly.
The Stock Book is available electronically on the Marine Institute’s web site as a PDF (https://oar.marine.ie/handle/10793/1433) and this year as an interactive app (https://shiny.marine.ie/stockbook/).
Much of the scientific work that delivers the Stock Book is funded under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund scheme.