The purpose of the sand eel dredge survey was to collect sand eels buried in the seabed and compare catches (number and age composition) with the previous year's collections to assess the 2012 year class strength of sand eel in the different areas adopted by ICES in 2009. Data from the dredge survey is the basis for calculating a 0-group index, which will be used in stock assessment. In addition, it was the aim to validate/quality ensure each haul using bottom contact sensors mounted on the gear (dredges).
The vessel departed Esbjerg harbor 22.11.2012 at 20.00 hrs. and arrived back at Esbjerg harbor 7.12.2012 at 14.00 hrs. Sampling with the modified dredge typically started just after sunset (UTC 17.00 hrs) and the last station of the night was completed before sun-rise (UTC 04.00 - 06.00 hrs) i.e. Fishing was only conducted during darkness.
Hans Jakob Olesen (Technical University of Denmark, National Institute of Aquatic Resources)