In June and July, Queen’s University Belfast went into the field repeating the CBESS sampling campaign in three locations around Northern Ireland. They sampled small invertebrates and larger mobile fish and crabs by collecting sediment cores and deploying fyke nets in Belfast Lough, Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough.
Sampling this year was much easier, in particular as they had help from the Loughs Agency in Foyle and Carlingford. Catches were dominated by the shore crab, but the team also caught fish, including European flounders (Platichthys flesus) and European eels (Anguilla anguilla). The later were released after taking measurements, as the species is critically endangered. Processing of samples will take place once the final CBESS samples are processed. QUB will now be looking at macroinvertbrates from the sediment cores sampled and stomach contents of the fish caught to generate food webs and investigate regional differences.