The PELGAS survey: ship-based integrated monitoring of the Bay of Biscay pelagic ecosystem

Type Article
Date 2018-09
Language English
Author(s) Doray MathieuORCID1, Petitgas PierreORCID1, Romagnan Jean-Baptiste1, Huret MartinORCID2, Duhamel ErwanORCID3, Dupuy Christine4, Spitz Jerome5, Authier Matthieu5, Sanchez FlorenceORCID1, Berger LaurentORCID7, Doremus Ghislain5, Bourriau Paul6, Grellier Patrick1, Masse Jacques1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ifremer Nantes, Unite Ecol & Modeles Halieut, Rue Ile Yeu,BP 21105, F-44300 Nantes 3, France.
2 : Ctr Ifremer Bretagne, Lab Biol Halieut, CS 10070, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
3 : Stn Ifremer Lorient, Lab Technol & Biol Halieut, 8 Rue Francois Toullec, F-56100 Lorient, France.
4 : Univ La Rochelle, Littoral Environm & Soc LIENSs, CNRS, UMR 7266, 2 Rue Olympe Gouges, F-17000 La Rochelle, France.
5 : Univ La Rochelle, CNRS, Observ PELAGIS, UMS 3462, La Rochelle, France.
6 : UFR Cote Basque, Stn Ifremer Anglet, Lab Environm Ressources Arcachon, 1 Allee Parc Montaury, F-64600 Anglet, France.
7 : Ctr Ifremer Bretagne, Serv Acoust Sous Marine & Traitement Informat, CS 10070, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Progress In Oceanography (0079-6611) (Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd), 2018-09 , Vol. 166 , P. 15-29
DOI 10.1016/j.pocean.2017.09.015
WOS© Times Cited 35
Keyword(s) Pelagic ecosystem, Integrated ecosystem monitoring survey, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Ecosystem variability, Bay of Biscay, Fishing vessels

The Pélagiques Gascogne (PELGAS) integrated survey has been developed by a multidisciplinary team of Ifremer and La Rochelle University scientists since 2000, joined by commercial fishermen in 2007. Its initial focus was to assess the biomass and predict the recruitment success of anchovy in the Bay of Biscay in spring. Taking advantage of the space and versatility of R/V Thalassa II, sampling has been progressively extended to other ecosystem components. PELGAS therefore further developed the second objective of monitoring and studying the dynamic and diverse Biscay pelagic ecosystem in springtime. The PELGAS survey model has allowed for the establishment of a long-term time-series of spatially-explicit data of the Bay of Biscay pelagic ecosystem since the year 2000. Main sampled components of the targeted ecosystem are: hydrology, phytoplankton, mesozooplankton, fish and megafauna. The survey now provides two main ecosystem products: standard raster maps of ecosystem parameters, and a time series dataset of indicators of the Bay of Biscay pelagic ecosystem state. They are used to inform fish stock and ecosystem-based management, and support ecosystem research. The present paper introduces the PELGAS survey, as a practical example of an integrated, vessel-based, ecosystem survey. The evolution of the PELGAS scientific team and sampling protocols are presented and analysed, to outline factors crucial to the success of the survey. Data and results derived from PELGAS are reviewed, to exemplify scientific questions that can be tackled by integrated ecosystem survey data. Advantages and challenges of the survey are discussed and put into the context of marine ecosystem surveys in the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Common Fisheries Policy.


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Doray Mathieu, Petitgas Pierre, Romagnan Jean-Baptiste, Huret Martin, Duhamel Erwan, Dupuy Christine, Spitz Jerome, Authier Matthieu, Sanchez Florence, Berger Laurent, Doremus Ghislain, Bourriau Paul, Grellier Patrick, Masse Jacques (2018). The PELGAS survey: ship-based integrated monitoring of the Bay of Biscay pelagic ecosystem. Progress In Oceanography, 166, 15-29. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :