North Sea Benthos Survey: Stations

Macrobenthos data presented in these web pages are based on stations sampled during the North Sea Benthos Survey (NSBS), and selected stations from the northern North Sea. The NSBS was executed in April-May 1986, when 177 stations were sampled, 43 by more than one institute. The area studied covers the ICES grid from 51°N to 58°N, and from 2°30"W to 8°15"E. The boxes in the ICES grid are defined by the intersection of whole degrees longitude, and half degrees latitude. The stations are on the four corners of the boxes, and in the centre. At each of these stations, five box cores when possible, but sometimes Van Veen grabs, were taken. ICES station 38 is in the Waddenzee, and was not visited during the NSBS cruises.

The stations of the northern North Sea are on an extrapolated ICES Grid. These stations were visited during eight cruises of the UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, from 1980 to 1985 (MAFF Survey), always in spring and summer. The area covered extends between 56°15"N and 60°45"N and 3°30"W and 7°30"E. A total of 119 stations was visited, only the 61 co-inciding with the extrapolated ICES grid were used for the NSBS. Of these 61, 7 were also visited during NSBS cruises.

The MAFF and NSBS cruises together resulted in 281 samples, taken at 231 stations. For all of these, density estimates are available. For 266 samples, coming from 214 stations, also biomass values are available.

Meiobenthos samples were only taken at 171 stations of the NSBS. Harpacticoid copepods were analysed at all of these locations; nematodes only on a selection of 31 samples. Data for nematodes have not yet been integrated with the rest of the dataset.

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