Whilst the data have been extensively checked by both the supplying
institutes and ICES there are inherent flaws in gathering the information.
* In spite of the fact that now all bottom trawl surveys are in the same database and often at least partially overlap in time period or area covered, there are differences between the surveys
that may not allow the combination of data from different surveys in one analysis unless this
point is specifically addressed.
* There is no guarantee that the ground gear types deployed adequately sample all species (e.g. catchability of flatfish in beam trawls is markedly higher than that of GOV). It should be realized that each survey gear catches a gear-dependent subset of the fish community. Also, for the same gear, catchability can be largely modified by rigging, ticklers, or other elements as those described under Gear Exceptions field (for instance bobbins, rockhopper etc.)
* A common property of all surveys is that over time species determination skills improve. As a result new taxa will emerge in the dataset that were previously reported as part of another closely-related taxon.
* Over time the sampling procedures, gear characteristics, timing of the survey or the area covered may have changed thereby influencing the catches. Expert advice recommendations are given in order to prevent bias in the analyses using DATRAS catch data, caused by such factors.
Thus users are urged to treat the data with caution. If the user has any queries on the validity of the data or the conclusions to be drawn they should contact either the ICES Secretariat or the Chairs of the relevant Working Group (IBTS, BITS or BEAM)
To guide the users of the trawl data the relevant working groups have provided the users with an expert advise. Please read these before using the data: Expert advice
This is an informative note. For further details on the current data policy, please read carefully the disclaimer included in the download package.