DFO Pacific Groundfish Synoptic Trawl Surveys - Queen Charlotte Sound

Project name: Global Biodiversity Information Facility datasets

Dataset summary : The Queen Charlotte Sound (QCS) synoptic bottom trawl survey was conducted annually from 2003 to 2005 and has since been repeated every second year on the odd-numbered years. This survey is one of a set of long-term and coordinated surveys that together cover the continental shelf and upper slope of most of the British Columbia coast. The other surveys are the Hecate Strait (HS) survey, the West Coast Vancouver Island (WCVI) survey, the West Coast Haida Gwaii (WCHG) survey, and the Strait of Georgia (SOG) survey. The objectives of these surveys are to provide fishery independent abundance indices of all demersal fish species available to bottom trawling and to collect biological samples of selected species. The surveys follow a random depth-stratified design and the sampling units are 2 km by 2 km blocks. The synoptic bottom trawl surveys are conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) in collaboration with the Canadian Groundfish Research and Conservation Society (CGRCS), a non-profit society composed of participants in the British Columbia commercial groundfish trawl fishery. The Queen Charlotte Sound and West Coast Haida Gwaii surveys are conducted under collaborative agreements, with the CGRCS providing chartered commercial fishing vessels and field technicians, while DFO provides in-kind contributions for running the surveys including personnel and equipment. The Hecate Strait, West Coast Vancouver Island, and Strait of Georgia surveys are conducted by DFO and have typically taken place on the Canadian Coast Guard research vessel W.E. Ricker. In years when the W.E. Ricker has not been available, the Hecate Strait and West Coast Vancouver Island surveys have taken place on chartered industry vessels. The data provided include information about the annual survey trips and fishing events (tows/sets) that are part of this survey series, including the vessel name, dates, times, spatial coverage, gear details, and effort information. Catch information (total weight in kg or counts of individual specimens) is included from successful fishing events. Catches are identified to species or to the lowest taxonomic level possible. Most catches are weighed, but some are too small (“trace” amounts) or too large (e.g. very large Big Skate). Some catches were subsampled and biological data were collected from individual fish specimens, including length, sex, and weight information. Where age structures were collected and processed, fish ages have been included. Relative abundance indices are provided for species that have been captured in every survey of the time series. The coefficient of variation and bootstrapped 95% confidence intervals are provided for each index. The groundfish data synopsis report (Anderson et al. 2019) provides an explanation of how the relative biomass indices are derived.