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Transitional Waters

Fish Stock Survey of Transitional Waterbodies around the Irish Coast 2018

This report presents fish capture data collected during Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) surveys of transitional waterbodies. Surveys were carried out in seven transitional water bodies around Ireland between September and October 2018. The survey was conducted to designate an ecological status based on fish populations, as per the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC). The populations of species of angling and conservation importance are also discussed.

A total of 182 samples were taken using three different methods (seine nets, fyke nets and bean trawls). 21,790 fish were captured, counted and identified to species level prior to release. 51 different fish species were encountered over the course of the sampling programme.

Of the seven transitional water bodies surveyed in 2018, species richness was lowest in the Avoca estuary on the east coast. This estuary was the smallest surveyed in 2018 and it is also considered as heavily modified. Castlemaine harbour which is located in the Southwest and the largest transitional water body surveyed in 2018 had the highest species richness with 29 species recorded.

All sites were classified as “Good” status using the estuarine multi-metric fish index (EMFI) (Harrison and Kelly, 2013), with the exception of Kinvara Bay, which was classified as “Moderate” status.

A requirement of the WFD is to resample a selection of transitional water bodies, preferably every three years, in order to monitor how their status changes over time. Fish ecological status changed in the Erne estuary and Kinvara bay, where status improved and reduced respectively.

Topics: Transitional Waters 2018 |