A Marine Science and Technology Partnership Programme for the island of Ireland

WESPAS 2023: Western European Shelf Small Pelagics Acoustic Survey

WESPAS will take place over two legs and forms part of a time series used to provide biomass estimates of herring and boar fish stocks in ICES areas VIIB and VIA and inform stock assessments by ICES expert groups. Mr Ciaran O’Donnell will lead an experienced team of biologists from the Marine Institute on survey transects deploying a pelagic trawl to ground truth echo traces of herring, boar fish and other pelagic species.

WESPAS bursaries are an excellent opportunity for graduates and postgraduate students who wish to develop field skills in fisheries acoustics, biometric sampling and plankton sampling. WESPAS data collection also extends to marine mammal and seabirds. The survey will take place over two legs as follows:

  • WESPAS 2023 Leg 1: 9th to 30th June
  • WESPAS 2023 Leg 2: 30th June to 21st July


The closing date for applications for applications is Friday the 5th of May 2023.

Applications can be submitted online here.

Advice on completing the application form is here.


  • Current ENG 11 medical certificate (Leg 1 after 29th June 2019, Leg 2 after 20th July2019)
  • Current PST STCW 95 or equivalent (Leg 1 after 29th June 2019, Leg 2 after 20th July2019)
  • Capacity to adhere to COVID 19 RV stipulations

More information on medical and PST certificates can found at Vessel User Information | Marine Institute

Survey Data

The data collected during the survey is the intellectual property of the survey organisers. Participants are obliged to comply with survey data privacy and protection as set out by the Chief Scientist.

Further Information

For more information about this survey email John.Boyd@atu.ie.

Also see:

2022 WESPAS cruise Report

Marine Institute Acoustic Surveys Webpage

SMART Training Programmes

Call Closed: SMART Marine Institute Research Bursaries 2023

The Marine Institute and the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) are offering up to 24 bursaries on...

Deferred: Science@Sea 2023 Tom Crean Training Survey

A Science@Sea marine data collection training survey will take place on the 15th and 16th of February in Cork Harbour...

Call Open: Science@Sea 2022

Two Science@Sea training surveys in multidisciplinary marine science will take place from the 14th to 17th of March in Cork...

Marine Institute SMART Research Vessel Bursaries 2022

The Marine Institute in collaboration with the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) is offering up to 27...