RV Cefas Endeavour 14/20

Cruise summary report

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)RV Cefas Endeavour (74E9)
Cruise identifier14/20
Cruise period2020-07-29 — 2020-08-28
Port of departureLowestoft, United Kingdom
Port of returnLowestoft, United Kingdom

1. To carry out a groundfish survey of the North Sea as part of the ICES coordinated IBTS, using a hybrid GOV trawl.
2. Collect surface sea water samples for Caesium/Tritium testing to be performed post-survey.
3. Conduct multiple tows to investigate king scallop (Pecten maximus) maturity in closed fishing grounds using Newhaven scallop dredges.


Cefas scientists boarded RV Cefas Endeavour on 27 July 2020 for COVID-19 testing and self-isolation as per agreed policy. Once negative tests had been confirmed for all scientists and crew the ship left Lowestoft 0600h 29 July and proceeded east to prime station 4 to begin the survey. Each day would start and end with a CTD deployment and a GOV fishing trawl on each prime station. By 2 August 10 fishing stations had been completed (including prime station after late Belgian permissions were received), prime station 8 was successfully completed but gear damage on prime station 7 resulted in an invalid tow. Between 2 and 5 August 25 scallop dredge stations were completed as per primary aim 3. Once this work was complete GOV prime station 7 was repeated successfully on 5 August.

Between 6 and 9 August 15 further GOV tows were completed until gear damage on 10 August at prime 49 saw a second invalid tow. The repeat, plus two more prime stations were completed that day. Between 11 and 14 August 14 more GOV stations were completed before a scheduled stop off at Seahouses, Northumberland allowed biological samples to be ferried into port and sent on to Lowestoft for processing to key deadlines. Between 15 and 21 August another 20 fishing stations were completed before gear damage meant a repeat of prime station 66 had to be invalidated.

The final 13 stations were completed between 22 and 26 August, with fishing managed around Storm Ellen, then held up by Storm Francis for ~30 hours. Once prime station 34 was completed, the survey headed back to Lowestoft, docking at 04:30h 28 August 2020.
Chief scientistBenjamin Hatton (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science Lowestoft Laboratory)
ProjectICES International Bottom Trawl Survey (IBTS)
Coordinating bodyInternational Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
Cruise programmeRV Cefas Endeavour 14/20 cruise programme endeavour14_20.pdf  (0.27 MB) 
Cruise reportRV Cefas Endeavour 14/20 cruise report endeavour14_20.pdf (1.82 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth Sea
SpecificNorth Sea (ICES areas IVa, b & c)
Physical oceanography 
CTD stationsQuantity: number of profiles = 48
Description: 48 CTD casts with ESM2 profiler
CTD stationsQuantity: number of stations = 48
Description: Salinity samples collected at surface and bottom using niskin at 48 stations
Other contaminant measurementsQuantity: number of samples = 231
Description: 231 samples of marine litter recorded in GOV catches.
Biology and fisheries 
Phytoplankton pigs (eg chlorophyll, fluorescence)Quantity: number of experiments = 42
Description: Surface water chlorophyll filtrations at 42 stations
Demersal fishQuantity: number of hauls = 77
Description: 77 valid stations completed with GOV otter trawl, plus 3 invalid.
MolluscsQuantity: number of hauls = 25
Description: 25 valid stations completed with x8 Newhaven scallop dredges
TaggingsQuantity: number of specimens = 14
Description: 14 elasmobranchs tagged with Petersen discs.
Other biological/fisheries measurementQuantity: number of samples = 6801
Description: Length distributions of all fish and selected shellfish/cephalopod species at every haul, plus 6801 biological samples, including otoliths collected for ageing purposes for commercial fish
Geology and geophysics 
Multi-beam echosoundingQuantity: activity duration in days = 31
Description: Fisheries acoustics recorded continously at 38 kHz, 120 kHz and 200 kHz for 31 days.