ESAS data model

European Seabirds At Sea (ESAS) assembles offshore monitoring data on seabirds and marine mammals. This international database mostly includes data from the North Sea, yet large parts of the northeastern Atlantic Ocean are covered as well. It finds its origin in the ‘Seabirds At Sea’ project, which was initiated in 1979 following the discovery of major oil potential in the North Sea and an urgent need to gain more knowledge on the occurrence and distribution of seabirds in their offshore habitat. This led to the execution of large-scale ship-based surveys across the North Sea using a standardized data collection method and a first European-wide data assembly in 1991.

This website describes the ESAS data model.

  • Tables: description of the 5 tables and their fields (also described in DATSU).
  • Format: description of the file format to submit data.
  • Species: Codes for taxa in ESAS.


The ESAS data model is developed and versioned in this GitHub repository.