Nephrops spend a great deal of time in their burrows and their emergence behaviour is influenced by many factors including time of year, light intensity, and tidal strength. Underwater television surveys to monitor the abundance of Nephrops populations was pioneered in Scotland in early 1990s. Since then, regular surveys have been conducted for many of the main Nephrops fisheries around Britain and Ireland. The technique has also been used in Danish, Greek, Italian and Spanish waters. Since 2009, ICES has been using UWTV surveys as the main basis for assessment and to generate catch options for many of the Nephrops stocks in ICES areas IV, VI and VII.
WGNEPS will work to consolidate the results of previous groups into a Cooperative Research Report which outlines the survey methodology and assessment approach used. The group will document best practice in terms of procedure and quality control in the form of an UWTV survey manual for the Series of ICES Survey Protocols (SISP). It will also review new surveys or any changes to existing surveys to ensure that they are fit for purpose.