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Researcher

Afliation

Carolyn Bryce

University of Glasgow

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 1a

The use of the River Invertebrate Classication Tool (RICT) in the Foyle and Carlingford catchments, its application in management and the link between biotic index scores and sh density grades

Abstract from research report

Rivers are subject to many elements of stress which can detrimentally impact the natural functioning of the aquatic ecosystems. Recently, classication tools have been developed and adopted into the monitoring systems of the United Kingdom to adhere to the requirements asked by the Water Framework Directive. ASPT and N-TAXA scores derived from the macroinvertebrate data collected by the Loughs Agency from 2009-2011 was used with the River Invertebrate Classication Tool to assess the quality of river sites from across the Foyle and Carlingford catchments situated in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The results indicated the ecological quality of each site and the type of anthropogenic disturbance deteriorating quality. The ASPT grades produced by RICT indicated that all the sites across both catchments did not greatly deviate from pristine reference conditions although this deviation varied across all three years. The N-TAXA grades suggested a substantial deviation of all sites from reference conditions with regards to levels of toxic pollution, however the N-TAXA grades were deemed as under representations of the true quality. It was deduced that the disparity in the N-TAXA grades to those of the true ground quality grades was linked to a different methodology used to those specied by RICT. The ASPT and N! ! !

TAXA scores were also paired with 0+ salmon and trout density grades gathered from semi-quantitative surveys, to assess whether changes in sh density grades correlated to changes in the biotic index scores. The linear regression analyses of the salmon and trout 0+ density grades did not signicantly correlate with changes in the ASPT and N-TAXA scores (P= > 0.005) for 2009. For the N-TAXA scores and salmon density grade for 2010 there was a signicant relationship between the two (P= 0.010), however they did not strongly correlate (r- sq= 0.1423). From this it was concluded that the juvenile sh density grades did not predictably change with ASPT and N-TAXA changes. As a result it was concluded that producing site-specic ecological quality grades derived from RICT would aid the identication of typespecic stressors and provide an alternative view to the functioning of a rivers ecosystem.

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Researcher

Afliation

Carolyn Bryce

University of Glasgow

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 1b

The porosity of river barriers and the cumulative impediment to the migration of Atlantic Salmon in the Foyle River catchment

Abstract from research report

Small articial riverine barriers are numerous across river catchments and have the potential to disrupt sh migrations. Recently, a coarse-resolution level assessment tool was developed to provide the environmental bodies of the United Kingdom with a means of classifying river catchments in terms of sh movement to meet the objectives set by the Water Framework Directive. The 'course-resolution rapid assessment: level A assessment' was used to dene the porosity of four structures on a small tributary in the Foyle system, Northern Ireland to the movement of four sh species guilds. The results indicated that all four barriers presented a challenge to the movement of all four species guilds. A porosity score of 0.0 for each barrier indicated that the upstream movement of adult Atlantic salmon was completely obstructed however as water depth was the limiting factor it was concluded that permeability was likely to change under uctuating river ows. A more in-depth of investigation of barrier porosity to the upstream Atlantic salmon spawning migration was conducted by modelling the hydraulic conditions over each barrier and assigning the appropriate porosity score. The relationship between river water ow (recorded at a gauging station on the main river stem) and measurements of water depth and water velocity of each barrier was dened with linear regression analyses and incorporated into the model.
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Daily river ow data recorded between October and January for each year back to 1975 was incorporated into the model to calculate daily porosity scores of each barrier and the cumulative impediment that the four barriers create to the spawning migration each year. Each barrier formed both a temporal and partial barrier to the spawning population of Atlantic salmon. Delays of up to 60 days were recorded below the bridge footing. The cumulative delay created by the four barriers ranged between 3 to 83 days. Although it was not possible to identify one barrier which was most at fault, as the porosity of a barrier was dependent on river ow, it's important to note that this study has shown river barriers having a direct effect on sh spawning migrations and success.

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Researcher

Afliation

Jenny McLeish

University of Glasgow

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 2a

Impact of predation on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) stocks of Lough Foyle catchment - a bioenergetics modelling application

Abstract from research report

Perhaps the most documented conict between piscivorous bird predation and human resource use pressures in Europe is that of the Great Cormorant and the shing industry. Through direct stock removal by consumption and injury of individuals during foraging, cormorants are perceived to be responsible for signicant economic losses incurred to the shing eet and recreational angling industry. The shery of Lough Foyle in Northern Ireland has seen a dramatic decrease in catch, in what were once extremely productive shing grounds. Cormorants were suggested to be a key predator in this area and play a particularly important role in stock removal during the Atlantic salmon smolt run. The impact of cormorant predation on the Atlantic salmon and brown trout stocks of the Foyle catchment was investigated, using a bioenergetics modelling approach. Cormorants resident at the Inishowen coastal nesting colony were modelled to be responsible for the removal of 196.98Kg of brown trout and 84.5Kg of Atlantic salmon smolt daily. This established quantity of smolt consumption equated to a removal of 48.32% of the total migrating Atlantic salmon smolt population of the Foyle catchment during the six week smolt migration.

This value was compared with a similar study conducted in Northern Ireland and discussed in the content of other published literature. Managerial implications arising from this result were considered in view of the current decrease in sheries catch within the Foyle catchment.

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Researcher

Afliation

Jenny McLeish

University of Glasgow

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 2b

Use of non-invasive sampling methods for detection of Anguillicola crassus, a swimbladder parasite of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla), and an investigation into morphological changes associated with swimbladder infection

Abstract from research report

Mass declines in European eel stocks throughout its distributional range require a closer examination of the factors known to increase eel mortality. Several compounding factors have been suggested as likely causes. Of these, the arrival of Anguillicola crassus, a non-native parasitic swimbladder nematode, coincides with the mass mortalities witnessed, and the morphological changes incurred by infected individuals have been suggested to decrease the viability of infected eels. Due to this decrease in eel numbers, non-destructive and noninvasive methods of testing for A. crassus are highly benecial. The use of intermediate and paratenic hosts as indicators for A. crassus habitat presence were examined, alongside a non-invasive diagnostic method using ultrasonography. Morphological and physiological changes to swimbladder tissue resulting from A. crassus infection were also determined using samples from two Scottish and two Northern Irish freshwater lochs. A suite of swimbladder health parameters were assessed using visual assessment, microscopy, histology, and a laboratory experiment to assess swimbladder response to increasing internal pressure in infected and parasite-free samples.

Sample sites containing A. crassus showed a decrease in overall swimbladder condition, as determined by an index of swimbladder health. Histological results showed thickening of the swimbladder wall in areas of long-term parasite exposure and structural change at a cellular level. A noticeable reduction in swimbladder length in relation to body length was also recorded in infected individuals. Results of the pressure test were inconclusive in showing a physiological consequence to the changes in swimbladder morphology described. These results were analysed in a life history context and management options for continued species survival in the face of long-term A. crassus exposure were discussed.

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Researcher

Afliation

Colleen Massey

Queens University Belfast

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 3

Factors inuencing fecundity in the European Eel, Anguilla anguilla

Abstract from research report

Populations of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) have been in steep decline since the 1980s. Previous studies have observed the critical relationship between lipid reserves and successful migration and reproduction. Estimates of fecundity were obtained using samples of silver eels from Lough Neagh and Lough Erne, Northern Ireland. Mean estimates of fecundity were similar between sites with 1.28 million eggs per eel in Neagh and 1.25 million eggs per eel in Erne. Total lipid content was 16.79% in Neagh eels and 17.44% in Erne eels, indicating that eels from these systems are in a poor state and may not be able to contribute to future recruitment, since it is the general consensus that eels require at least 20% total body lipid to be able to migrate and reproduce. A signicant correlation was found between lipid content and fecundity in Erne eels, although the same correlation was weak in Neagh eels. As expected, size-fecundity relationships were highly signicant (P = <0.05), although no signicant association between condition factor and fecundity could be found. Furthermore, it was observed that the nematode parasite, Anguillicoloides crassus was present in 86% of eels from Lough Erne and in 84% of eels from Lough Neagh.

A signicant relationship was observed between the parasite and fecundity in Erne eels (P = .001), but the same relationship was not signicant in Neagh eels (P=.413). Consequently, it was concluded that lipid content could indeed be used as a predictor of fecundity, although other factors must be taken into consideration.

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Researcher

Afliation

Victoria McCready

Queens University Belfast

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 4

Operating costs in the Lough Foyle Oyster shery

Management Tool / Applied Outcome

A B

Models to develop recommendations to improve current fishing practices in the Lough Foyle Oyster Fishery Analysis of relationship between fuel costs and pressure on localised O.edulis stocks in the Lough Foyle Oyster Fishery

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Researcher

Afliation

Daryl Gunning

Queens University Belfast

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 5 The importance of size-fecundity relationships in the management of the European lobster, Homarus gammarus

Abstract from research report

Historically, the European lobster shery has been overshed and completely unregulated or only mildly regulated by a national minimum landing size (MLS). As management plans, such as restrictions on berried females and V-notching, now focus on improving recruitment by increasing egg production, an understanding of lobster fecundity is essential if they are to be successful. Egg production is dependent on a number of biological parameters such as; size at maturity, frequency of spawning, number of lobsters per size class, and fecundity. As important population parameters vary with latitude, it is important to quantify them for specic managed stocks. Fecundity at length of H. gammarus stocks managed under a Vnotch scheme off the northeast coast of Northern Ireland was estimated from commercial catch samples. It was found that egg number increased signicantly with carapace length (CL) (mm) and individual fecundity ranged from 4,080 to 15,522 eggs (F=176.76*CL - 7313.6). These ndings correlate with previous similar studies carried out in North-east Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Norway. Size-fecundity investigations indicated that a number of morphological parameters may be responsible for the higher reproductive capacity of larger females.
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Egg size, ovary mass, and the capacity of pleopods to attach egg masses increased with female size (P = >0.05). Protecting egg-bearing females by marking them with a V-notch in the tail capitalises on these characteristics and allows them to contribute more to future generations, ensuring a more sustainable shery. As larger females produce more eggs and only the largest and most dominant males mate with females, the inclusion of large males in V-notching programmes and the introduction of a maximum landing size for both sexes could provide benets to reproductive success by protecting the most reproductively active and fecund individuals within a shery.

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Researcher

Afliation

Laura Hinchliff

Queens University Belfast

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 6

The effect of infection with the swim bladder parasite, Anguillicola crassus, on the lipid content of the European eel, Anguilla anguilla

Abstract from research report

The swim bladder nematode Anguillicoloides crassus, an invasive parasite endemic to the Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica) has become a serious problem in A. anguilla sheries since its rst arrival to Europe in Germany and Italy in 1982. A. crassus causes a multitude of problems to A. anguilla such as intestinal lesions, alteration to the swim bladder wall and disrupting other organs in the process. The strain of hosting a sanguivorous parasite may result in depletion of energy reserves such as glucose and lipids. Lipid content analysis was performed on female silver eels from two sites in Northern Ireland (Lough Neagh and Lough Erne) and compared against standard morphometrics to ascertain the effects A. crassus may induce on A. anguilla prior to migration. The lipid content of eels was positively inuenced by body length and mass as larger, heavier eels had a higher lipid content than smaller eels. Results showed that the differences in lipid content in Lough Neagh and Lough Erne could be attributed to differences in length between the two sites. This indicates that body length may be a key factor in inuencing the effect that parasites have on lipid. Eels with a higher infection intensity of A. crassus were found to have a lower lipid content; however this result was only signicant in Lough Neagh. The differences seen between the two sites may be explained by differences in sh communities and distribution of the intermediate and paratenic hosts in the two sites. Though results are indicative of
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A. crassus having an effect on the lipid content of A. anguilla, low sample sizes means it remains uncertain.

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Researcher

Afliation

Carrie McMinn

Queens University Belfast

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 7

Aquaculture vs. other anthropogenic disturbances: The effects on water birds on Carlingford Lough

Abstract from research report

Carlingford Lough is an economically important area for the cultivation of Blue Museels (Mytilus edulis) and Pacic Oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and it is also an ecologically important area for many waterbird species, especially wintering birds. A study was carried out over eight months, to examine what effect aquaculture activities had on waterbird assemblages compared to other anthropogenic disturbances on the Lough. Eleven sites were chosen along the shore of Carlingford Lough and these were divided into three categories (Aquaculture, Recreational and Undisturbed) depending on the level of anthropogenic disturbance on the foreshore. Sites were surveyed twice a month, at high tide and again at low tide. A total of 39 species were observed over the duration of the study (January- August). Primer analysis was carried out to test for differences in waterbird assemblages between sites and also months. The results of the study show that signicant differences occur in bird assemblages at different sites on Carlingford Lough. However, the difference is not distinct and overlaps occur between sites. Due to Carlingford Lough being a relatively small lough, it is unlikely that there would be totally different groups of birds at different sites.
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Researcher

Afliation

Julie Miller

University of Glasgow

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 8a

Conservations limits & Atlantic Salmon

Management Tool / Applied Outcome

Related Policy ! ! EU Water Framework directive ! !

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Review of the current methodology for setting conservation limits for Atlantic salmon in the Foyle area Sensitivity analysis of the current model of Atlantic salmon conservation limits in the Foyle area Comparison of the model of Atlantic salmon conservation limits in the Foyle area to other available models Scientific context for modelling choice for Foyle and the resulting associated conservation limits for Atlantic salmon

IBIS STAKEHOLDERS to whom project is relevant


TRANS-JURISDICTION
Freshwater Biological Association Atlantic Salmon Trust

IRELAND
Inland Fisheries Ireland

N.IRELAND
Department of the Environment Rivers Agency Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure

SCOTLAND
Rivers & Fisheries Trusts of Scotland

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Researcher

Afliation

Aoibheann Canavan

Queens University Belfast

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 9

Interactions between shorebirds and aquaculture in Carlingford Lough

Management Tool / Applied Outcome

Related Policy ! " EU Birds Directive 1979 EU Habitats Directive 1992 (appropriate assessment) Regulation (EC) 852/2004 Regulation (EC) 853/2004 Regulation (EC) 854/2004 Regulation (EC) 2073/2005 European communities (hygiene of fishery product and fish feed) regulations 2006 (SI NO 335 of 2006) Food safety Authority of Ireland act 1998, Number 29

A B

Database relating to bird populations on the lough Identification of difference in species assemblages on aquaculture sites vs non-aquaculture sites

Survey of bird roosting sites for the presence of antibacterial resistant strains of E. coli

Test of potential bird deterrents on aquaculture trestles to prevent predation and fouling

IBIS STAKEHOLDERS to whom project is relevant


TRANS-JURISDICTION
EU Aquaculture Initiative (AI) Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Loughs Agency (LA)

IRELAND
Dept of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR)

N.IRELAND
Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI)

SCOTLAND

Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) (DAFM) Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARDNI)

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Researcher

Afliation

Lawrence Eagling

Queens University Belfast

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 10

Developing best practices for O. edulis sheries in Loch Ryan

Management Tool / Applied Outcome

Related Policy ! ! ! ! ! UK Biodiversity Action Plan for native oyster sustainability Landing size regulations (oysters) Landing quota regulations (oysters) Maintaining the sustainability of oyster beds Policy for regeneration of oyster beds

A B C D E

Analysis of current and historical management of native oysters Analysis of biology and breeding of oyster broodstock Correlations between temperature, chlorophyll and oyster growth Determination of age and population structure of oyster stock Expanded knowledge of location, movement and abundance of oyster spat

IBIS STAKEHOLDERS to whom project is relevant


TRANS-JURISDICTION
EU Aquaculture Initiative Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations (NFFO) Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB) Loughs Agency (LA)

IRELAND
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

N.IRELAND
Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute

SCOTLAND
Loch Ryan Oyster Co (LROC) Marine Scotland (MS) Rivers & Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS) Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) Seafish / Seafood Scotland (SS)

Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine Northern Ireland Environment Agency (DAFM) Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (EPA) Irish Sea Fishery Board (BIM) Marine Institute (MI) Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA)

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Researcher

Afliation

Simon Guist

Queens University Belfast

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 11

Developing best practices for C.gigas producers

Management Tool / Applied Outcome

Related Policy Commission Regulation 175/2010/EU requires a disease free certificate for the transport of seed from an infected to a non-infected area containment areas to be established once the virus is detected in an oyster growing area Update by Commission Decision 2011/187/EU that transfer of seed can only be done within other bays with similar or inferior sanitary status Containment areas which were established in 2010 to control increased mortalities have now had their restrictions lifted.

Protocols that regulate against production losses due to the Herpes virus - developed in collaboration with local producers

IBIS STAKEHOLDERS to whom project is relevant


TRANS-JURISDICTION
EU Aquaculture Initiative (AI) Loughs Agency (LA) Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB)

IRELAND

N.IRELAND

SCOTLAND
Seafish / Seafood Scotland (SS)

Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI) (DAFM) Department of Agriculture and Rural Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) Development (DARDNI) Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Irish Sea Fishery Board (BIM) (DCAL) Marine Institute (MI) Department of the Environment (DoE) Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA)

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Researcher

Afliation

Luke Murphy

Queens University Belfast

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 12a

Interactions between shellsh sheries and wildfowl on Lough Foyle

Management Tool / Applied Outcome

Related Policy ! " EU bird directive EU habitat directive Marine strategy framework directive

A B

Database identifying bird populations on Lough Foyle Identification of influences on bird species due to aquaculture activities

IBIS STAKEHOLDERS to whom project is relevant


TRANS-JURISDICTION
EU Aquaculture Initiative (AI) Loughs Agency (LA) Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB) British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)

IRELAND

N.IRELAND

SCOTLAND

Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI) (DAFM) Environmental Protection Agency Ireland Council for Nature Conservation and the (EPA) Countryside (CNCC) Department of Agriculture and Rural Marine Institute (MI) Development (DARDNI) Natl Parks & Wildlife Svc. / Dept Arts, Department of the Environment (DoE) Heritage & Gaeltacht (NPWS) Irish Sea Fishery Board (BIM)

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Researcher

Afliation

Luke Murphy

Queens University Belfast

IBIS MASTERS RESEARCH PROJECT 12b

Cormorant predation on Atlantic salmon smolts in the Foyle catchment

Management Tool / Applied Outcome

Related Policy ! EU Bird directive EU Habitat directive UK Wildlife and Countryside Act EU Water framework directive

A B

Assessment of the predation of cormorants on Atlantic salmon smolts on the Foyle catchment Identification of necessary control and management of cormorants

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IBIS STAKEHOLDERS to whom project is relevant


TRANS-JURISDICTION
Loughs Agency (LA) British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)

IRELAND

N.IRELAND

SCOTLAND

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI) (DAFM) Environmental Protection Agency Ireland Council for Nature Conservation and the (EPA) Countryside (CNCC) Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Marine Institute (MI) (DCAL) Natl Parks & Wildlife Svc. / Dept Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht (NPWS)

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