Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys (WGBEAM)
The Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys (WGBEAM) coordinates and implements European inshore and offshore beam trawl surveys, including planning, standardization, data transmission and data quality assurance. The group also coordinates the Italian/Croatian/Slovenian beam trawl survey in the Adriatic Sea as there is no other body in the EU coordinating beam trawl surveys, and the EU Data Collection Framework requires survey coordination.
In 2020 eleven beam trawl surveys were planned, covering the North Sea, 5a, 7d, 7e, 7fg, 7a, 8a, 8b and the Northern Adriatic Sea. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic most surveys could be carried out according to schedule, but often with less staff, only 7a has not been sampled. All data have been transmitted to the ICES Database of Trawl Surveys (DATRAS).
In 2021, a combined session with North Sea and Celtic Sea stock coordinators took place where all surveys were presented. Stock coordinators discussed developments in data use and provided an overview of current beam trawl survey data use in the assessments.
The 2018 cohort for sole (Solea solea) and plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) in the North Sea and 7d is still visible as 2-year olds in the 2020 beam trawl surveys. No additional strong year classes could be seen for sole and plaice.
R scripts to evaluate the combined offshore and inshore beam trawl surveys data by region and cross-regionally have been further developed, and a preferred calculation method for swept area has been created.
The manual for the offshore beam trawl surveys has been updated (full update foreseen in 2023), and the manual for the inshore beam trawl surveys has been further developed (first version expected mid 2022).
WGBEAM has also decided to maintain an overview of the current and future industry beam trawl surveys.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee