Institute of

Sea Fisheries

Research surveys

The Federal Republic of Germany owns three fisheries research vessels that, based on their purpose, differ in terms of size and construction (in German). They are owned and managed by the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food. The Thünen Institute uses the vessels in the sea areas used by German fisheries. These include the great depths of the North Atlantic and the icy, stormy waters off Greenland’s coast, as well as the flat areas of the southern North Sea. Population surveys of exploited fish species are conducted regularly, physical and chemical marine data are collected, and environmental changes assessed.

FRV Walther Herwig III (© Thünen-Institut)

Due to continuous operation of the research vessels, we are able to investigate in several fields of research:

  • Biological monitoring and research on the population dynamics of commercially exploited fish stocks in the EU Seas, North Atlantic and Antarctic Ocean.
  • Investigations on the impacts of different users (for example offshore-windparks, Marine protected areas) on the fish assemblages and the biodiversity of exploited marine habitats.
  • Investigations on the effects of climate and oceanographic variability on the distribution, abundance and productivity (growth, reproduction and recruitment success) of fish stocks.
  • Development and optimisation of survey strategies.
  • Development of new hydroacoustic methodology and models to better estimate pelagic fish stocks.


Many of our research surveys are tied into international survey programmes, which are coordinated by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

Read more about our fields of activity.

Further information about our research vessels

View of the A-frame of Walther Herwig III (© Thünen-Institut)

Walther Herwig III

Solea

In our Sea blogs you can find interesting details on selected surveys of our research vessels.

Are you interested in joining a research survey?