Fish and Epifauna
Survey theme: Fish and epibenthic
Surveys of commercial and non-commercial fish species, including shellfish, and animals living on the surface of the seabed
Examples of fish and epifauna surveys are those that collect data relating to commercial fishing, epifauna communities on submerged structures, fish abundance and spawning. The most frequently used survey methods are otter and beam trawls, but longlining and potting are also used.
An otter trawl is a large fish next that is towed behing a research vessel and is used mainly to catch species such as whiting and cod that are swimming in the water column. A beam trawl is used to target bottom-dwelling fish and epifauna, such as dab.
Offshore industries collect fish and epifauna data to assess the impact of offshore projects on these species and the wider ecosystem.