RV Cefas Endeavour 18/15

Cruise plan

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)RV Cefas Endeavour (74E9)
Cruise identifier18/15
Cruise period2015-08-08 — 2015-09-06
Port of departureLowestoft, United Kingdom
Port of returnLowestoft, United Kingdom
ObjectivesNorth Sea Groundfish survey


1. To carry out a groundfish survey of the North Sea as part of the ICES coordinated IBTS, using a hybrid GOV trawl in order to obtain information on:
a) Distribution, size composition and abundance of all fish species caught.
b) Age - length distribution of selected species.
c) Distribution of fish in relation to their environment.
d) Distribution of macrobenthos and anthropogenic debris.
e) Surface and bottom temperature and salinity data using ESM2 profiler/mini-CTD logger and Niskin Bottle.
f) Length weight & maturity information using individual fish measurements, in support of the EU Data Regulation.
2. Total alkalinity and dissolved in/organic carbon analysis of seawater by filtration at selected stations.
3. Tag and release specimens of starry smooth-hound Mustelus asterias, greater-spotted dogfish Scyliorhinus stellaris, spurdog Squalus acanthias, tope Galeorhinus galeus, common skate Dipturus batis species-complex, and blonde ray Raja brachyura, in support of the ICES Working Group for Elasmobranch Fishes work to inform on stock units for demersal elasmobranchs.
4. To freeze any unusual fish species for subsequent identification / verification in the laboratory, including specimens of eelpout (Zoarces, Lycodes and Lycenchelys), sea scorpions (Cottidae, sub-area IVa only), Sebastes spp., and any unusual fish species, which may also be used in otolith research.
5. To freeze samples of smooth-hound (Mustelus spp.) for biological studies.
6. Record litter caught in the trawl in support of Defra projects.
7. Retain all dead species of shad and lamprey for study by Cefas scientists.
8. Collect fisheries acoustic continuously data at four operating frequencies (38 kHz, 120 kHz, 200 kHz and 333kHz), using the Simrad EK60 split beam sounder. The data will contribute to the existing 15 year time series of acoustic data in the North Sea and will be used as part of the Defra funded project Poseidon (MF1112) to monitor changes in mackerel distribution and abundance.
9. Retain and freeze whole specimens of Mackerel, herring, sardines/pilchards, sprats, sea bass, dogfish, halibut, turbot and blue whiting (where above minimum landing sizes if applicable) for testing tissue samples for contaminants, in support of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, descriptor 9 (relating to levels of contaminants in fish and shellfish for human consumption).
10. To retain empty skate and ray egg cases with corresponding positional information for subsequent identification by the Shark Trust.
11. Collect plankton biodiversity samples from selected stations for pigment and analytical flow cytometry analysis. If time and conditions allow, additional profiles to be completed with the ESM2 logger.
12. Collecting, preserving and analysing samples of seawater in order to determine the spatial-temporal variability of Transparent Exopolymer Particles (TEP) and DOM in the North Sea. Incubation experiments will be conducted for TEP detection.
13. Cetacean observations will be recorded where possible and send to the SeaWatch Foundation.
14. Collect data on incidental mortality of crabs caught in the trawl in support of Defra projects.
15. Obtain jellyfish samples from the North Sea to allow baseline isotopic signature to be determined in order to compare these with the isotopic signatures of higher trophic level species. Using these icescape maps it should be possible to geolocate different commercially important and ecologically important species to their feeding origins within UK waters.
Chief scientistJames Robert Ellis (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science Lowestoft Laboratory), Sophy McCully Phillips (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science Lowestoft Laboratory)
Coordinating bodyInternational Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
Cruise programmeRV Cefas Endeavour 18/15 cruise programme endeavour18_15.pdf  (0.15 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth Sea
Data held at BODC 
Discrete samples 
23  Sample taken from ship's non-toxic supply
24  Water bottle hydrocast