Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys



WGBEAMWGBEAMTrueHolger HaslobEOSGholger.haslob@thuenen.de176Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys

The Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys (WGBEAM) contains experts in the planning, coordination, and implementation of European inshore and offshore beam trawl surveys.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Independent fisheries’ beam trawl surveys using research vessels were established in the 1980s by countries bordering the North Sea to monitor stocks of plaice and sole.  Collation and analysis of some of the data derived from these surveys was undertaken by the Beam Trawl Study Group, which in 1998 was re-established as the Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys.  Although the initial focus of its efforts was in the North Sea and Eastern Channel, the group now evaluates all major surveys in ICES Subarea IV and VII. In addition, the group also evaluated a survey in the Bay of Biscay in 2009 and survey in the Adriatic in 2011.

WGBEAM comprises regular participants from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy and the UK. In total, nine offshore surveys are carried out. The surveys covered by WGBEAM all have their own origins and were not set up as one survey. As such, no standardization of gears has taken place. The different countries all have their own sampling areas and, because the gears used vary, it is not possible to change sampling locations from one country to the other without any thorough scientific study beforehand. However, WGBEAM attempts to increase standardization in sampling by staff exchange during the surveys and by publishing both an offshore and inshore manual, describing best practices by each country and all of the standardized sampling protocols that are carried out.

The group has experience in multi-disciplinary sampling and other sampling of additional ecosystem parameters.

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​ICES WGBEAM members in Leuven, Belgium.

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