The Working Group on Beam Trawl Surveys (WGBEAM) coordinates and implements European inshore and offshore beam trawl surveys, including planning, standardization, data transmis-sion and data quality assurance. The group also coordinates the Italian-Slovenian and Croatian beam trawl survey in the Adriatic Sea as there is no other body in the EU coordinating beam trawl surveys, and the EU Data Collection Framework requires survey coordination.
In 2022 eleven beam trawl surveys were planned, covering the North Sea, 7d, 7e, 7fg, 7a, 8a, 8b and the Northern Adriatic Sea. COVID-19 infections hampered the German offshore beam trawl survey in the North Sea, and the Italian-Slovenian survey in the Adriatic. Severe weather condi-tions affected the spatial coverage of the French offshore survey in the Bay of Biscay, and the Dutch Sole Net Survey in the North Sea. The English survey in 7d was cancelled due to the re-view of lifting procedures on board. All data have been transmitted to the ICES Database of Trawl Surveys (DATRAS). Survey summary sheets have been prepared for all surveys.
Survey results were presented in a joint session with survey data end-users, North Sea and Celtic Sea stock coordinators, and the working group on marine litter chair. The main topic arising from this session is how end-users can be informed sooner on major issues in surveys.
R scripts to evaluate the combined offshore and inshore beam trawl survey data by region and cross-regionally have been further developed. Specific analyses have been conducted on elasmo-branchs, patterns in abundance and spatial distribution; brown shrimp Crangon crangon, num-bers measured and length ranges by survey; marine litter, consistency in reporting; age at length consistency for flatfish in the North Sea, plaice Pleuronectes platessa and dab Limanda limanda.
The number of closed areas for fishing has increased over the past decade with varying effects on the beam trawl surveys. Mitigating measures were defined and it was decided that the topic should stay on the agenda of WGBEAM in the next years.
Developments in the ICES database on trawl surveys were presented by ICES Data Centre, and feedback was given where requested.
The manual for the offshore beam trawl surveys has been published in January 2023. For publi-cation of the manual for the inshore beam trawl surveys, appointments have been made to reach publication in the first half of 2023.