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The datasets on fishing intensity in the EU waters were created in 2021 by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). Fisheries overview data concern: i) the spatial distribution of average annual fishing effort (mW fishing hours) by ecoregion and gear type (Beam trawls, Bottom otter trawls, Bottom seines, Dredges, Pelagic trawls and seines, Static gears, where available) in the Azores and Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast (2018–2021), Baltic Sea (2019-2020), Barents Sea, Celtic Seas, Faroes, Greater North Sea, Icelandic Waters, Norwegian Sea and Oceanic Northeast Atlantic (2017-2020). Fishing effort data are only shown for vessels >12 m having vessel monitoring systems (VMS); ii) the average annual subsurface (top) and surface (bottom) mobile bottom contacting fishing gear (i.e. bottom otter trawls, bottom seines, dredges, beam trawls) disturbance by ecoregion in the Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast (2018–2021), Baltic Sea (2019-2020), Barents Sea, Celtic Seas, Faroes, Greater North Sea, Icelandic Waters, Norwegian Sea and Oceanic Northeast Atlantic (2017-2020), expressed as average swept-area ratios (SAR). Due to data confidentiality issues, VMS/logbook data are anonymized and aggregated in a 0.05×0.05 degree grid prior to submission to ICES, using the C-square geocode system (polygons). The dataset is updated yearly and as soon as new data from ICES are released.
The ICES Statistical Areas delineates the divisions and subdivisions of FAO Major Fishing area 27. The ICES Statistical Areas are used as bounding areas for calculation of fish statistics, e.g. catch per unit effort (CPUE) and stock estimates.