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.