WGIDEEPS, formerly the Working Group on Redfish Surveys (WGRS), provides sound, credible, timely, peer-reviewed, and integrated scientific advice on fishery management. The surveys are the primary basis for advice on the stock status of pelagic redfish in the areas.
Surveys have been conducted on pelagic beaked redfish in the open seas of the Irminger Sea since 1983 and in the Norwegian Sea since 2007, with the main objective to obtain biomass estimates of pelagic redfish. These surveys have been conducted by individual nations or in collaboration between two or more nations. The area coverage and methodology have, however, varied and often the area coverage was limited, especially in earlier years. The surveys are mainly hydroacoustic surveys, but pelagic trawling has also been used since 1999. Over time, both the horizontal and vertical coverage has increased as earlier surveys were not considered sufficient for stock assessment purposes.
The results from the surveys are the basis for the ICES advice on pelagic redfish in the areas. Until 2012, no analytical assessment was conducted on these stocks and their statuses were assessed from biomass trends derived from survey indices. In 2012, ICES conducted a workshop to evaluate and eventually revise the data collection and assessment methodologies used for these stocks. In addition to stock assessment, the results from the surveys are necessary to map the vertical and horizontal distribution of beaked redfish, to collect biological data on other fauna, and to monitor the environmental conditions in the areas.
Beaked redfish on beach; photo - DESCNA (www.descna.com)