International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
WGBEAM Report 2020.pdf (1.96 MB)

Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys (WGBEAM)

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posted on 2020-01-01, 00:00 authored by ICESICES

The Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys (WGBEAM) plans, coordinates, and implements European inshore and offshore beam trawl surveys. The group’s activities relate mostly to the role of the group, i.e. to coordinate beam trawl surveys in the ICES area, including planning, standardization, data transmission and data quality assurance.

The 2019 inshore and offshore beam trawl survey data for North Sea (subarea 4) and Western Waters (subareas 7 and 8) have been uploaded to the ICES data portal DATRAS, and are available for the stock assessments. In the North Sea as well as in division 7d, the strong 2018 cohort for both plaice and sole is still visible as 1-year old. For plaice, the 1-year olds are mainly visible in the offshore surveys (BTS), for sole the 2018 cohort is well visible in both the offshore and the inshore survey indices.

Annually, an update assessment is carried out for sole in autumn, using the Dutch BTS data in the south eastern North Sea of the running year. Generally, it is to be expected that the signal from that survey is incomplete to provide a proper forecast based on the 1-year olds in the survey year, because the inshore surveys are still running at the time of the update assessment. As in the past years, the data delivery deadlines for the update assessment for plaice and sole could only nearly be met. WGBEAM has discussed this issue and proposes achievable deadlines for data delivery based on the processing time (technical sample and data processing combined with the time available beside other workflows in the institute), and including sufficient time for quality checks, for both the offshore and the inshore beam trawl surveys.

The planning for the 2020 surveys has been completed, including an overview of rectangles for comparative fishing during the German and Dutch North Sea beam trawl surveys.

An outline was created for the Manual on inshore beam trawl surveys, including intersessional actions to be taken. Updates to the Manual on offshore beam trawl surveys have been added and a full update is scheduled for 2022.

During the meeting R scripts for data consistency checks were developed. Although not finalized, it is proposed that the scripts are stored at a WGBEAM GitHub to facilitate versioned scripts and to support efficient workflows and processing of similar data.


Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee

  • EOSG

Published under the auspices of the following ICES Expert Group or Strategic Initiative



ICES Scientific Reports





Contributors (Editors)

Ingeborg de Boois

Contributors (Authors)

Ulrika Beier; Gérard Biais; Ingeborg de Boois; Gary Burt; Holger Haslob; Sven Kupschus; Guðjón Már Sigurðsson; Francesco Masnadi; Kay Panten; Giuseppe Scarcella; Vaishav Soni; Loes Vandecasteele; Adriana Villamor



Recommended citation

ICES. 2020. Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys (WGBEAM). ICES Scientific Reports. 2:48. 86 pp.