FFS Walther Herwig III 452

Cruise summary report

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)FFS Walther Herwig III (06NI)
Cruise identifier452
Cruise period2022-01-06 — 2022-01-13
Port of departureBremerhaven, Germany
Port of returnBremerhaven, Germany
ObjectivesInternational Herring Larvae Survey in the North Sea

The cruise is part of the German contribution to the international herring larvae surveys in the North Sea (IHLS). These surveys are conducted during the autumn and winter herring spawning activity. The ICES coordinated studies monitor the spatial distribution and abundance of herring larvae on an annual basis. Survey results gives information about herring spawning stock biomass and the contribution of different spawning components on the overall hatching success. The results provide valuable information for herring stock assessment and the fixation of fishing quotas.
The amount of herring larvae caught (22,000) is in the same order of magnitude compared to preceding years (12,000-26,000 larvae, except 2017). Most herring larvae were found in the inner parts of the English channel, associated with relative high bottom temperatures (> 10°C).
As an additional task, the winter benthos species composition in Box A was examined. Abundance of the brown shrimp Crangon crangon was still very low, continuing a trend observed since 2015. Abundances of species such as the dragonet Callionymus lyra or the bivalve Nucula nitidosa decreased remarkably compared to previous years. Particularly evident this year was the high occurrence of the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus.
Chief scientistNobert Rohlf (Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries, Bremerhaven)
ProjectICES International Herring Larvae Survey
Coordinating bodyInternational Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
Cruise reportFFS Walther Herwig III 452 cruise report waltherherwigiii_452.pdf (0.84 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralEnglish Channel
North Sea
SpecificGerman Bight, eastern English Channel (ICES Areas IVb, IVc and VIId)
Track chartsFFS Walther Herwig III 452 cruise track — waltherherwigiii_452trk.pdf (0.17 MB) 
Physical oceanography 
CTD stationsQuantity: number of profiles = 65
Description: Towed CTD
CTD stationsQuantity: number of profiles = 2
Description: CTD
Biology and fisheries 
Eggs and larvaeQuantity: number of hauls = 65
Description: Plankton and fish larvae catches
ZoobenthosQuantity: number of hauls = 9
Description: 2m beam trawl