Working Group for North-east Atlantic Continental Slope Survey (WGNEACS)

 The Working Group on North-east Atlantic Continental Slope Survey (WGNEACS), chaired by Elvar H. Hallfredsson, Norway, will meet in Lisbon, Portugal, 12–14 June 2012 to:

a ) Develop a series of data products in terms of spatial distribution maps, time-series of abundance indices and ecosystem indicators for NEA deep-water surveys as required by the Assessment working groups and/or specified in the benchmark workshops.

 b ) Nordic surveys:

 v ) Continue work on sampling protocols for surveys by Faroe, Greenland, Iceland and Norway, and attempt to standardize the protocols as much as possible. Special attention should be given to species identification, especially regarding non-target species.  vi ) Evaluate survey coverage, density and distribution of all major stocks in the area in other years, in same manner as was done using 2010 data at WGNEACS 2011.  vii ) Analyse trends in biomass, length and recruitment for major stocks across the area.  viii ) Evaluate and compile existing data from the Nordic surveys on the physical environment.  ix ) Continue an overview of surveys in the area made by countries other than those represented at 2010 WGNEACS (Norway, Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland)

 n ) Central surveys:

 i ) Evaluate the sources of variance in the survey design of the central deep-water surveys  ii ) Compile abundance data from the different surveys and evaluate, density and distribution of all major stocks in the area  iii ) Analyse trends in biomass, length and recruitment for major stocks across the area.  o ) Southern surveys:  i ) Evaluate and review the appropriateness of longline surveys in general and provide recommendations as appropriate.  ii ) In particular evaluate the appropriateness of longline surveys in the southern area as defined by WGNEACS (Bay of Biscay and Iberian waters, ICES X (Azores)). This includes evaluation of existing longline survey series from the area and the capacity of longline surveys to provide:

 1 ) Full suite of population indicators for black scabbardfish fish, the two main sharks species (Centrophorus squamosus and Centroscymnus coelolepis) and any other species that would be caught in sufficient numbers, including other target demersal/deep-water species in the Azores. This should  include indicators on abundance, biomass and length distribution by sex. Additionally the surveys should collect relevant biological data to achieve proportion of mature fish, size at maturity, indices of fecundity etc.  2 ) Opportunity to calculate biodiversity indicators such as diversity indicators of predator fish species can, indicators of species diversity such as species richness. DCF indicators such as proportion of large fish, mean maximum length and 95% percentile of the fish length distribution. Information about the status of the most vulnerable fish populations.

 iii ) Develop longline survey design for abundance estimates in the southern area using available information.  WGNEACS will report by 20 July 2012 (via SSGESST) for the attention of SCICOM and ACOM.

More information here

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