FFS Walther Herwig III 412

Cruise summary report

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)FFS Walther Herwig III (06NI)
Cruise identifier412
Cruise period2018-01-03 — 2018-01-12
Port of departureBremerhaven, Germany
Port of returnBremerhaven, Germany
ObjectivesGerman Small-scale Bottom Trawl Survey and International Herring Larvae Survey in the North Sea. The German Small-scale Bottom Trawl Survey (GSBTS) continued the long-term investigation of winter bottom fish assemblages in "Box A" in the German Bight. The mean catch yielded per half hour trawling (65 kg) is relatively low when compared to the long term mean (137 kg). Dab (Limanda limanda), whiting (Merlangius merlangius) and herring (Clupea harengus) dominated in the catches. Whiting is the only species for which abundance has considerably for increased in the Box as compared to recent years, while all other species were reduced in terms of total biomass. The epifauna in Box A was dominated by high numbers of the starfish Asterias rubens, the solenette Buglossidium luteum and the brittle star Ophiura ophiura. Abundances of the shrimp Crangon crangon and the dragonet Callionymus lyra were strikingly low, and the bivalve Nucula nitidosa was completely absent. The mean weight of the starfish Asterias rubens was higher than usual, while smaller individuals were less abundant within the population. This is in good accordance with an observed recruitment failure of this species in last spring/summer. The international herring larvae surveys in the North Sea (IHLS) are conducted annually during the autumn and winter herring spawning activity and monitor the spatial distribution and abundance of herring larvae. The survey index is used as an important estimator of herring spawning stock biomass and provides valuable information for herring stock assessment and fixing of fishing quotas. Newly hatched larvae were distributed in the whole survey area. Their total abundance was higher when compared to 2017 and more in line with the estimates found in the preceding years.
Chief scientistNobert Rohlf (Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries, Hamburg)
ProjectICES International Herring Larvae Survey
Coordinating bodyInternational Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
Cruise reportFFS Walther Herwig III 412 cruise report waltherherwigiii_412.pdf (0.84 MB) 
NPRCFFS Walther Herwig III 412 NPRC waltherherwigiii_412.pdf (0.34 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralEnglish Channel
North Sea
SpecificSouthern North Sea and eastern Channel
Track chartsFFS Walther Herwig III 412 cruise track — waltherherwigiii_412trk.pdf (0.47 MB)