WGIPS currently covers 4 internationally coordinated and 8 national surveys. These surveys provide indexes for the assessment of pelagic fish stocks in the North East Atlantic.
WGIPS supports Herring Assessment Working Group for the Area South of 62ºN (HAWG) and Working Group on Widely Distributed Stocks (WGWIDE) by providing fishery-independent abundance at age and biomass estimates for use in assessments. Survey analysis is mainly done at post cruise meetings which take place shortly after each survey.
The group works on the development and standardization of acoustic survey techniques and maintains the Manual for International Pelagic Surveys (SISP 9 – IPS). The use of the ICES database and joint analysis of the survey data improves transparency and harmonises survey methods across all surveys. The assignment of acoustic values to species – the scrutiny of the acoustic data – is addressed annually during WGIPS meetings and in dedicated scrutiny workshops in order to ensure consistency. The quality of sampling and methods used in ageing and maturity determination are continually monitored in close communication with other ICES expert groups.
WGIPS at their 2019 meeting.