International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
PGNEACS08.pdf (1.94 MB)

Report of the Planning Group on the North-east Atlantic Continental Slope Survey (PGNEACS)

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posted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by ICESICES
The planning group of the North‐east Atlantic continental slope survey (PGNEACS) met with the objective of reviewing existing deepwater surveys that are carried out in the Northeast Atlantic and exploring the feasibility of incorporating these surveys into a single coordinated NEA slope survey with a common survey strategy and standardised protocols. Following a review of the existing surveys the conclusion was reached that PGNEACS could accommodate two categories of surveys depending on their level of coordination and standardisation. The first level would include surveys that are fully standardised in their methodology in order to produce common abundance indices for the main deepwater species roundnose grenadier, black scabbardfish, deep‐water sharks, bluemouth redfish and greater forkbeard and other species as appropriate. At the second level of coordination, surveys with the same scientific objectives would be coordinated by PGNEACS but not fully standardised due to practical and scientific reasons. Using this classification, a single slope survey is planned whereby there will be an annual deepwater trawl survey along the continental slope in quarter 3 and 4, from ICES area VI west of Scotland to VIII Bay of Biscay. This survey will combine the existing Scottish and Irish deepwater trawl surveys which for the purpose of international coordination will be spatially adjusted to improve coverage along the continental slope between VI and VIIk. Both surveys are already operating with the same trawl gear and used agreed and standardised methodologies. In addition the survey will include a deepwater component of the French IBTS survey which will sample depths between 500 and 1800m at three sampling regions in the Bay of Biscay between the Goban Spur and the Landes Plateau. For the extension of the survey into IXa, it was noted that trawl gears are not appropriate for sampling and a longline survey is proposed that will be scientifically coordinated by PGNEACS. The possibility of making a number of longline stations in the northern areas for further comparability will be explored. A number of northern trawl surveys in area II and V could potentially complement PGNEACS and the group recommends that these surveys will be coordinated among themselves either by PGNEACS or within a separate planning group.


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