Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

The oceanographic vessel Vizconde de Eza, from the General Secretariat for Fisheries, departs today from the port of Vigo heading for waters off the west coast of Ireland, where it will carry out the Porcupine 2021 campaign, which aims to assess the demersal resources of this area, which It is a fishery of great importance for the Spanish fishing fleet.


The campaign, also called “SP-PORC-Q3”, will therefore last for 36 days during which a team of 15 scientists will carry out studies with the aim of obtaining abundance indices of 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 and Nephrops.


These campaigns are one of the main methods of direct study of exploited fishing populations, which derive from the need to obtain independent data on fishing activity for the correct management of the target populations of the fishing grounds.


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


Porcupine 2021 is the twenty-first campaign carried out in the area, born by proposal of Spain as a result of the entry into service of the oceanographic vessel Vizconde de Eza, in response to the communication of the “ International Botton Trawl Survey Working Group” of lack of data in the area. The continuation of 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 in 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 for Fisheries, it continues to invest efforts in developing research campaigns on board its oceanographic vessels, which will undoubtedly lead to an improvement in knowledge and therefore to a sustainable management of our resources. 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, making the best equipment available to the scientists for the purposes of the campaign, and the optimization of the available resources