ICES Baltic International Fish Survey Working Group (WGBIFS) was established in 1996 from the Study Group on Data Preparation for the Assessments of Demersal and Pelagic Stocks in the Baltic and comprises experts representing nine countries from around the Baltic Sea.
WGBIFS compiles results, coordinates, and plans the schedule for the following surveys on an annual basis: •Baltic International Acoustic Survey (BIAS)
•Baltic Acoustic Spring Survey (BASS)
•Baltic International Trawl Surveys (BITS) 1st and 4th quarter
The group provides the fish abundance index series (herring, sprat and cod) on a routine basis for the Baltic Fisheries Assessment Working Group to use as tuning fleets. Furthermore, the common survey manuals are updated according to decisions made during the meeting.
A large part of the working time is committed to discussions of additional terms of reference based on recommendations of other expert groups of the EU and ICES.