These surveys are
predominately targeted at improving our knowledge of fish populations but also
offer many opportunities to collect information on the marine ecosystem as a
whole. As ICES provides broader ecosystem advice the surveys should be adapted
to meet advisory needs.
ICES coordinates many
surveys of the marine environment across the ICES area. The surveys are carried
out by the member countries. The international coordination ensures consistency
of surveys across the region and develops new methods required for ICES work.
WGISUR’s main aim is to develop and integrate these surveys to further inform
the ecosystem approach and to add value to the existing surveys. By integration
we mean both practically (using similar surveys to collect data) and in terms
of data delivery and data flow. This approach must address the current primary use
of the surveys (fish abundance) and future advisory needs for environmental
information (e.g. seabird or sea mammal abundance).