The Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys (WGBEAM) plans, coordinates, and implements European inshore and offshore beam trawl surveys. WGBEAM 2019 reviewed data from eleven offshore and four inshore surveys. The group collated an overview of the 2018 results and the 2019 planning of all surveys under its coordination, and provided standard output under the form of updated abundance index time-series for sole and plaice in the offshore and inshore beam trawl surveys. The annual output on spatial sampling coverage of the offshore and inshore beam trawl surveys was updated. In general, all surveys relevant for the index calculation for plaice and sole completed their sampling plans and obtained good coverage of the survey area. Only the Quarter 1 South-West Ecosystem Survey (Q1SWECOS) reported technical issues in 2018, which lead to a reduction of covered stations in the Celtic Sea.
WGBEAM members finalised a manual on the offshore beam trawl surveys for publication in 2019. This manual is meant to be a living document that will be reviewed annually by the work-ing group and an updated version will be submitted for review at the end of each multi-annual period.
In relation to the ICES Database on Trawl Surveys (DATRAS), actions that would lead to better data quality were formulated and reported, and ongoing and future development issues were reported and/or discussed. Related to tors b and c, the chair of the Working Group on DATRAS governance (WGDG) presented the current developments and questions for WGBEAM. With respect to these questions, WGBEAM specified how the different DATRAS species validity cod-ings (“SpecVal”) should be taken into account in the various standard data product(s) based on beam trawl survey data. Further, some specific variables in the DATRAS reporting format were discussed, and proposed suggestions from WGDG and the ICES data centre for clarification and enhancement of data quality were supported, e.g. a flag for estimated/seeded ages, use of ship code for commercial vessels, new required fields for WGBEAM inshore and offshore surveys for sample processing information.
The WGBEAM report also includes a report from the WGBEAM organised Workshop on Index Calculation based on DATRAS data (WKICDAT). This describes the evaluation of GAM mod-elled indices, with respect to WGBEAM-related survey data issues.