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Formal report series, containing results of research and monitoring carried out by Marine Scotland Science


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Manual for Version 3 of the Groundfish Survey Monitoring and Assessment Data Product

Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 8 No 18

Coastal European Union (EU) Member States (MS) operate groundfish surveys that cover almost the entire continental shelf of the Northeast Atlantic off Western Europe. Some survey work is also carried out in deeper shelf-edge waters and on sea mounts and plateaus further west in the wider Atlantic Ocean. These surveys use different vessels and different fishing gears, are undertaken at different times of year following various methodological approaches. The data are recorded and archived in a variety of different formats. The data obtained from many of these surveys are routinely uploaded and stored on an open access data portal on the ICES website: the DATRAS portal. The DATRAS portal allows for the uploading of data collected, recorded and archived in a variety of different forms and formats, but the resulting database structure required to accommodate this is far more complicated, and potentially confusing for users, than is really necessary, with many fields in the database simply explaining how other fields should be interpreted. Furthermore, the data stored on the DATRAS database have long been known to be affected by various data quality issues. These have not been addressed in a single co-ordinated process, rather it has been left to individual data users to make any corrections that they deem necessary, effectively resulting in multiple different versions being in circulation of what is in fact a single DATRAS data set. The MSFD requires formal assessment of the state of marine ecosystems in EU waters. Fish communities constitute a key component in the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems, so formal assessment of the state of the fish component is, therefore, mandatory. To meet their MSFD obligations, EU MS have invariably nominated their groundfish surveys as part of their marine monitoring programmes. However, to meet the obligation for formal assessment at the required regional seas spatial scale, these issues of data standardisation and quality assurance noted in the groundfish survey data stored on DATRAS all need to be resolved. The Groundfish Survey Monitoring and Assessment (GSMA) data product sets out to address these issues; to derive a single set of fully standardised and quality assured data products for all the surveys operating in the Northeast Atlantic.

Greenstreet, S.P.R and Moriarty, M. (2017) Manual for Version 3 of the Groundfish Survey Monitoring and Assessment Data Product. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 8 No 18, 77pp. DOI: 10.7489/1986-1
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UK Open Government Licence (OGL)
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This is the third document in the series. The first document is "Derivation of Groundfish Survey Monitoring and Assessment Data Products for the Northeast Atlantic Area" The second document is "OSPAR Interim Assessment 2017 Fish Indicator Data Manual (Relating to Version 2 of the Groundfish Survey Monitoring and Assessment Data Product. Two previous reports have been published by Marine Scotland, each linked to an earlier version of the data product. Moriarty et al. (2017) describe in detail the approach and the protocols used to derive each survey’s data product. This report was essentially linked to the Version 1 GSMA data product, which, together with the Moriarty et al. (2017) report, was subjected to review by several ICES working groups, The OSPAR Fish and Cephalopod Technical Expert Group (Greenstreet and Moriarty, 2017), and by the national Data Providers. Issues raised were subsequently addressed leading to release of the Version 2 GSMA data product. This process is described by Greenstreet and Moriarty (2017). It was the Version 2 GSMA data product that was analysed for the OSPAR Interim Assessment 2017 (IA2017). However, further issues with the Version 2 data product were identified by some national Data Providers and by the indicator leads responsible for carrying out the assessments. It was not possible to deal with these issues in time for the IA2017, but they have since been addressed to derive a third version of data product. This report describes the process used to produce the Version 3 GSMA data product. This document describes the changes to the data product from version 2.

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