Systematic collection of zooplankton in Irish waters is not implemented despite such plankton being a key food source for commercial fish stocks. Ireland is reliant on ad-hoc zooplankton studies that have taken place in academic institutes and on data collection through the continuous plankton recorder which bypasses large areas of Irish waters. This project aims to devise a strategy to augment and systematically collect zooplankton in our waters to elucidate trends and constrain ecosystem models that will provide support to policies related to climate adaptation in the seafood sector.
Specifically, the project will:
Assess coverage and condition of samples from the Mackerel egg surveys conducted since 1977.
Conduct a literature search on all zooplankton data collection in Ireland to date.
Assess the fitness for purpose of existing zooplankton data holdings to validate ecosystem models.
Make recommendations on a future zooplankton climate monitoring strategy for Ireland (methods, locations, analysis strategy)
1. Report on current status of metadata and sample viability from the triennial mackerel egg survey (1977-present) (Q4 2021)
2. Literature review (report) of all known zooplankton data collection in Irish waters.
3. Maps detailing locations and timing of key zooplankton sampling efforts in Irish waters (Q4 2021)
4. Report recommending future zooplankton sampling strategy for Irish waters to underpin key policy priorities in the seafood sector. (Q1 2022)