An extensive demersal sampling programme is under taken annually, in all the major ports around the country. Irish demersal fleets target species such as cod, whiting, haddock, hake, angler (monk), megrim, plaice sole, saithe and pollack. The target number of sampling trips to each port is proportional to the landings of the main demersal species in each port. Because there are a large number of small ports that contribute very little to the overall landings, the top 21 ports are sampled. These ports represent 95% of the demersal landings in the previous 2 years. Each of the ports has a probability of being selected for sampling in each quarter.
The sampling design follows International best practice guidelines resulting from a series of international workshops, working groups and study groups, namely WKACCU, WKMERGE, WKPICS, SGPIDS and WGCATCH. Biological parameters such as length, weight, sex, maturity and age are collected for all demersal stocks sampled and this sampling provides the basis for stock assessments on demersal stocks in the waters around Ireland. Achieved sampling can be seen in the Irelands Data Collection Framework Annual Report for the relevant years.