The workshop on the production of swept-area estimates for all hauls in DATRAS for biodiver-sity assessments (WKSAE-DATRAS) considered three groups of surveys for which data are sub-mitted to the Database of Trawl Surveys (DATRAS): various Beam Trawl Surveys, the Northeast Atlantic International Bottom Trawl Survey (Northeast Atlantic IBTS), and the North Sea Inter-national Bottom Trawl Survey (North Sea IBTS).
All countries contributing to the above-mentioned surveys were represented by at least one par-ticipant during the workshop, apart from the Netherlands and Norway.
The main objectives of the workshop were to establish tow-by-tow swept-area estimates for time-series as far back in time as possible, compare different approaches for the estimates of missing observations, and harmonize the resulting dataseries for biodiversity assessments.
For all of the surveys considered, problems with data quality were detected. This included the Beam Trawl Surveys but was most pronounced for the North Sea IBTS. Outliers and potential erroneous data were listed for reporting back to the respective national institutes. In particular, missing observations or algorithms affected wing spread-based swept-area, which is needed in several applications.
This workshop compared the Marine Scotland Science-MSS/OSPAR approach, which includes a data quality check for the information needed for the calculation of swept-area, and the DATRAS approach, which depends solely on correctly reported data from the national institutes. Larger data gaps were identified, in particular for several years of the North Sea IBTS. For those surveys, it is proposed that the best possible way forward at this moment is to use estimates based on the MSS/OSPAR approach.
However, if dubious records (i.e. extreme outliers) were identified by the MSS/OSPAR and no other information was available, values (e.g. speed over ground or the depth at which a change from short to long sweeps should have happened) were taken from the manual. However, expe-rience has shown that the survey manuals are not followed in all instances, and so persistent country-specific and survey-specific deviations may occur.
The national institutes are encouraged to check, correct, and fill in missing survey data through re-submissions to DATRAS. It is recommended that DATRAS data quality control on data sub-mission is extended for the information needed for the calculation of swept-area (e.g. distance, depth, door spread, and wing spread) and that this is done in close cooperation between the ICES Data Centre and the respective ICES survey working groups, WGBEAM (Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys) and IBTSWG (International Bottom Trawl Survey Working Group).