Getting a good grounding with the Northeast Atlantic
Marine Scotland Science has just released new Groundfish Survey Monitoring and Assessment data for the Northeast Atlantic Area, which includes fish abundance and biomass at length information for all the species caught during the surveys (details in the table below).
With growing interest in understanding, assessing and managing the ecosystem in a more holistic way, having reliable data is key. Although this newly released data had already been collected by the various marine institutions within Europe and stored with the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) in their database portal (DATRAS), in some cases sample information was missing or incorrect. Knowing that this information is a key part of understanding the broader fisheries picture in European waters, because groundfish surveys provide information about the abundance for species of commercial value, which in turn support the stock assessments used in fisheries management, MSS took on the role of taking the raw data, checking it and providing a quality assured product for use in Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) assessments.
Led by Marine Scotland scientist Dr Simon Greenstreet, all of the European groundfish survey data collected by member countries of ICES have been subjected to a formal quality assurance process to ensure that they are robust. The resulting products contain a total of 41,394 sampling stations and 4,574,975 biological records, spanning from the North Sea to the Gulf of Cadiz with temporal coverage of up to 35 years in some areas.
We would like to extend our thanks to the ICES Secretariat, ICES Data Centre and the wider ICES community, particularly the European Marine Institutions and the scientists who made this project possible.