Shark experts to meet in Ireland –

Shark experts to meet in Ireland Published:  12 June, 2007

THE Marine Institute in Co. Galway will play host to a gathering of shark experts from around Europe next week.

The experts, who are members of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea’s (ICES) Elasmobranch Working Group, will assess the populations of stocks around Ireland.

Elasmobranch is the scientific name for sharks and rays, fish that do not have a bony skeleton. The working group studies the populations of these species in Europe. It assesses the effects of fishing and other human activities on them.

The meeting is being organised by Graham Johnston of the Marine Institute. The group has members from fifteen countries, and is chaired by Dr Jim Ellis, from the UK Fisheries Laboratory, Lowestoft.

According to former chair of the group, Maurice Clarke of the Marine Institute, “this meeting will be the first one to assess populations of skates, rays and small dogfish around Ireland. We know that some of our skates are now very much depleted, but some types of dogfishes are on the increase elsewhere in Europe. It will be interesting to see what the results of the fish surveys we conduct on the RV Celtic Explorer tell us about their status in Irish waters.”

The working group takes place from the June 22-28. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.