The ESAS data model consists of four hierarchical tables (Campaigns, Samples, Positions, Observations) and one metadata table (File Information) containing information about the submitted data. The tables are described below.

  • The tables are also described in DATSU.
  • Fields indicated with * are required (i.e. cannot be empty).

File Information

Source: fileInformation.yaml

Metadata about the submitted data. A file can contain data about multiple campaigns, as long as they are associated with the same data rights holder(s).

Name Description Vocabulary Type
RecordType *

Record type. Use FI for Information records.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • pattern: FI
string
DataRightsHolder *

Organization owning the legal rights over the resource. Combine multiple values with ~.

  • 202 Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
  • 630 NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)
  • 740 DHI Water Environment Health
  • 1375 Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Aberdeen Office (JNCC)
  • 1416 Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)
  • 1527 Rijkswaterstaat Central Information Services
  • 2125 University College Cork (UCC)
  • 2299 Research and Technology Centre, Buesum (FTZ)
  • 2422 Wageningen Marine Research (Den Helder) (WMR)
  • 2827 Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (HQ) (RSPB)
  • 3393 SOVON Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology (SOVON)
  • 3269 Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
  • 5045 Bureau Waardenburg BV (BUWA)
  • 5123 Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience (BIOS)
  • 5440 Ornis Consult A/S
  • 5441 Institute of Avian Research
  • 5442 Dutch Seabird Group (NZG)
  • 5443 Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA)
  • 5444 Cork Ecology
Constraints
  • required: true
  • maxLength: 20
  • pattern: (\d+|~)+
EDMO integer
Country *

Country associated with the DataRightsHolder. Combine multiple values with ~ in the same order as DataRightsHolder.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • maxLength: 20
  • pattern: ([A-Z]{2}|~)+
ISO_3166 string

Campaign

Source: campaign.yaml

Information about the campaign on which data were collected.

Name Description Vocabulary Type
RecordType *

Record type. Use EC for campaign records.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • pattern: EC
string
CampaignID *

Identifier of the campaign. Must be unique across the entire ESAS database (e.g. by prepending the identifier with the DataRightsHolder such as inbo:12345). Must be stable, as it is used in combination with DataRightsHolder to detect resubmissions of data.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • unique: true
  • maxLength: 50
string
DataAccess *

Access to the data (Public or Restricted). See the ICES Data Policy for conditions.

Constraints
  • required: true
Data_access string
StartDate

Start date of the campaign, formatted as YYYY-MM-DD.

Constraints
  • required: false
date
EndDate

End date of the campaign, formatted as YYYY-MM-DD.

Constraints
  • required: false
date
Notes

Additional details about the campaign, such as research purpose, area covered or route.

Constraints
  • required: false
  • maxLength: 300
string

Sample

Source: sample.yaml

Information about a sampling event during a campaign. Use separate sample records for different dates, platform sides, methodologies, or observers recording concurrent but independent data streams.

Name Description Vocabulary Type
RecordType *

Record type. Use ES for sample records.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • pattern: ES
string
CampaignID *

Identifier of the campaign the sample belongs to.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • maxLength: 50
string
SampleID *

Identifier of the sample. Must be unique within the campaign.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • unique: true
  • maxLength: 50
string
Date *

Sampling date, formatted as YYYY-MM-DD.

Constraints
  • required: true
date
PlatformCode *

Platform from which sampling took place. Use ZZ99 for unknown.

Constraints
  • required: true
SHIPC string
PlatformClass *

Type of the platform.

Constraints
  • required: true
Platform Class string
PlatformSide

Side of the platform from which sampling took place.

  • right Starboard
  • right_front
  • right_back
  • left Port
  • left_front
  • left_back
  • both Observers on both sides producing one collective data stream
Constraints
  • required: false
PlatformSide string
PlatformHeight

Height (in m) of the platform during sampling (e.g. average flying height of airplane).

Constraints
  • required: false
number
TransectWidth *

Width (in m) of the sampling transect.

Constraints
  • required: true
integer
SamplingMethod *

Sampling method.

  • 1 Ship-based transect method with distance estimation and snapshot for flying birds
  • 2 Ship-based transect method with distance estimation, no snapshot for flying birds
  • 3 All observations, but no transect operated
  • 4 Presence/absence data only
  • 5 Ship-based transect method with distance estimation and snapshot for flying birds, but no scan data for outside the transect
  • 6 Ship-based strip transect, no snapshot, no distance estimation
  • 7 Ship-based strip transect, with snapshot, no distance estimation
  • 8 Visual aerial line transect method with distance sampling
  • 9 Visual aerial strip transect, no distance estimation
  • 10 Visual aerial total counts
  • 11 Digital aerial - video
  • 12 Digital aerial - stills
Constraints
  • required: true
BD_CountMethod string
PrimarySampling

Whether the sample should be considered primary (True) or ancillary (False) in the case of observers recording concurrent but independent data streams.

Constraints
  • required: false
Boolean boolean
TargetTaxa *

Species (groups) that were counted during sampling.

  • 1 All species recorded (standard)
  • 2 All species except Larus gulls
  • 3 All species except fulmars
  • 4 All species except Larus gulls, fulmars and kittiwakes
  • 5 Auks only
  • 6 Auks and seaduck only
  • 7 All species except eiders and gulls
  • 8 All species except gannets
  • 9 Auks and unusual seabirds only
  • 10 All species except auks and divers
  • 11 All species except small gulls (Little, Black-headed & Common Gull/Black-legged Kittiwake)
  • 12 All species except Lesser Black-backed Gulls
  • 13 All species except seaduck and divers
  • 14 All species except gannets, fulmars and kittiwakes
  • 15 All species except fulmars and gannets
  • 16 Cetaceans only
  • 17 Auks, divers, grebes and seaduck only
  • 18 Cetaceans and rare birds only
  • 99 Other
Constraints
  • required: true
TargetTaxa string
DistanceBins

List of distance bin boundaries applied during sampling and to be used for distance analyses, formatted as x|x|...|x. For a typical ship-based sample using a 300 m wide transect this would be 0|50|100|200|300.

Constraints
  • required: false
  • maxLength: 100
  • pattern: (\d+\|)+\d+
string
UseOfBinoculars

Extent to which binoculars were used during sampling.

  • 1 No binoculars used
  • 2 Binoculars used for scanning far ahead of the platform (e.g. for seaduck and diver monitoring)
  • 3 Binoculars used extensively for scanning ahead and to the side, naked eye used for close observations (e.g. for cetacean monitoring)
Constraints
  • required: false
UseOfBinoculars string
NumberOfObservers

Number of observers that contributed to the sample.

Constraints
  • required: false
integer
Notes

Additional details about the sample, such as the name of the ship in case it has no SHIPC code.

Constraints
  • required: false
  • maxLength: 300
string

Position

Source: position.yaml

Information about a position during sampling. Since the platform moves during sampling, these positions often represent the calculated midpoint of a trajectory. These trajectories (also called “observation bins”) typically have a predefined duration (e.g. 2 minutes).

Name Description Vocabulary Type
RecordType *

Record type. Use EP for position records.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • pattern: EP
string
SampleID *

Identifier of the sample the position belongs to.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • maxLength: 50
string
PositionID *

Identifier of the position. Must be unique within the campaign.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • unique: true
  • maxLength: 50
string
Time *

UTC time at the start of the trajectory/observation bin of this position, formatted as hh:mm:ss.

Constraints
  • required: true
time
Latitude *

Latitude of the position in decimal degrees, using the WGS84 datum. Often the calculated midpoint of a trajectory.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • minimum: -90
  • maximum: 90
number
Longitude *

Longitude of the position in decimal degrees, using the WGS84 datum. Often the calculated midpoint of a trajectory.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • minimum: -180
  • maximum: 180
number
Distance

Distance (in km) travelled during the observation bin. Can only remain empty if Area is used.

Constraints
  • required: false
number
Area

Area (in km²) of sea surveyed during the observation bin. Can only remain empty if Distance is used.

Constraints
  • required: false
number
WindForce

Wind force and sea state according to the Beaufort scale.

  • 0 Calm - Sea like mirror
  • 1 Light air - Ripples with appearance of scales, no foam crests
  • 2 Light breeze - Small wavelets, crests of glassy appearance, not breaking
  • 3 Gentle breeze - Large wavelets, crests begin to break, scattered whitecaps
  • 4 Moderate breeze - Small waves becoming longer, numerous whitecaps
  • 5 Fresh breeze - Moderate waves, many whitecaps, some spray
  • 6 Strong breeze - Larger waves, whitecaps everywhere, more spray
  • 7 High wind, moderate gale, near gale - Sea heaps up and white foam from breaking waves begins to be blown in streaks along the direction of the wind
  • 8 Gale, fresh gale - Moderately high waves; edges of crests begin to break into the spindrift; foam is blown in well-marked streaks along the direction of the wind
  • 9 Strong/severe gale - High waves; dense streaks of foam along wind; crests begin to topple, tumble and roll over; spray may affect visibility
  • 10 Storm, whole gale - Very high waves with long overhanging crests; foam in great patches blown in dense white streaks along wind; sea surface takes a white appearance; tumbling becomes heavy and shock-like; visibility affected
  • 11 Violent storm - Exceptionally high waves (medium sized ships may be lost to view behind waves); sea covered with long white patches of foam lying along the wind; everywhere edges of crests are blown into froth; visibility affected
  • 12 Hurricane force - Air is filled with foam and spray; sea completely white with driving spray; visibility seriously affected
Constraints
  • required: false
Beaufort string
Visibility

Visibility (in km). Use a range code (A-D) for historical data.

  • A Poor (< 1 km) or express as 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, …
  • B Fair/moderate (1 - 5 km) or express as 1, 1.5, …
  • C Good/very good (5 - 10 km) or express as 5, 6, …
  • D Excellent/infinity (> 10 km) or express as 10
Constraints
  • required: false
Visibility string
Glare

Glare that could be affecting observation quality.

  • none No glare
  • weak Weak glare (no major effect on the counting)
  • medium Medium glare (a part of the viewing area is affected by glare)
  • strong Strong glare (the whole viewing area is affected)
Constraints
  • required: false
Glare string
SunAngle

Angle of the sun in relation to the observer (0-359), with 0 being straight ahead.

Constraints
  • required: false
  • minimum: 0
  • maximum: 360
integer
CloudCover

Cloud cover (in oktas).

Constraints
  • required: false
CloudCover string
Precipitation

Precipitation.

  • N None
  • R Rain
  • S Snow
  • F Fog
Constraints
  • required: false
Precipitation string
IceCover

Ice cover percentage within the transect.

Constraints
  • required: false
  • minimum: 0
  • maximum: 100
integer
ObservationConditions

General impression of the observation conditions.

  • G Good
  • M Moderate
  • P Poor
Constraints
  • required: false
Sightability string

Observation

Source: observation.yaml

Information about an observation of a group of birds or marine mammals. Use separate observation records to distinguish between species, age, etc.

Name Description Vocabulary Type
RecordType *

Record type. Use EO for observation records.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • pattern: EO
string
PositionID *

Identifier of the position the observation belongs to.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • maxLength: 50
string
ObservationID *

Identifier of the observation. Must be unique within the campaign.

Constraints
  • required: true
  • unique: true
  • maxLength: 50
string
GroupID

Identifier of an aggregation of individuals. Must be unique within the campaign. Observations in a sample with the same GroupID are thus indicated as being observed as part of the same group.

Constraints
  • required: false
  • maxLength: 5
string
Transect *

Whether the observation was in (True) or out (False) of the transect.

Constraints
  • required: true
Boolean boolean
SpeciesCodeType *

Type of SpeciesCode.

Constraints
  • required: true
RLIST string
SpeciesCode *

Code of the observed species. See the species lookup table.

Constraints
  • required: true
string
Count *

Number of animals counted or estimated (not corrected for distance).

Constraints
  • required: true
integer
ObservationDistance

Distance (in m) at which the animal(s) was observed. Values should be the midpoint of the distance bins defined in DistanceBins or use > to indicate distances outside the transect (e.g. 25, 75, 150, 250 and >300 would be the only valid values for distanceBins = 0|50|100|200|300). For ship-based sampling of birds and marine mammals in contact with water using a standard 300 m transect, one can use the ObservationDistance vocabulary.

  • A In contact with the water, 0 - 50 m
  • B In contact with the water, 50 - 100 m
  • C In contact with the water, 100 - 200 m
  • D In contact with the water, 200 - 300 m
  • E In contact with the water, >300 m, beyond transect
  • F Flying, no contact with water
  • W In contact with the water, but distance not recorded
Constraints
  • required: false
  • maxLength: 8
  • pattern: [ABCDEFW]|\>?\d+(\.\d+)?
ObservationDistance string
LifeStage

Life stage of the animal(s), based on plumage.

  • A Adult
  • I Immature (not specified)
    • 1 1st calendar year (juvenile)
    • 2 2nd calendar year
    • 3 3rd calendar year
    • 4 4th calendar year
    • 5 5th calendar year
Constraints
  • required: false
LifeStage string
Moult

Primary moult of the animal(s). Use only for fulmar, auks, divers and seaduck.

  • X Active primary moult
  • Y No active primary moult
Constraints
  • required: false
Moult string
Plumage

Plumage type of the animal(s).

  • B Breeding (summer) plumage
  • T Transient plumage (moulting between winter & summer plumage or vice-versa)
  • W Non-breeding (winter) plumage
  • L Light morph (skuas/double light ‘LL’ fulmars)
  • C Coloured morph (‘L’, ‘D’ & ‘DD’ fulmars)
  • I Intermediate morph (skuas)
  • D Dark morph (skuas)
  • P Pullus

For immature auks (guillemot and razorbill):

  • A1 ½ or less than adult size
  • A2 Over ½ adult size
  • A3 About same size as adult

For immature northern gannets:

  • G1 Plumage 1
  • G2 Plumage 2
  • G3 Plumage 3
  • G4 Plumage 4
  • G5 Plumage 5
Constraints
  • required: false
Plumage string
Sex

Sex of the animal(s).

  • F Female
  • M Male
Constraints
  • required: false
SEXCO string
TravelDirection

Direction in which the animal(s) is travelling. Use degrees (10° increments) to indicate directions relative to the direction of the platform and (inter)cardinal directions (e.g. NE for heading Northwest) for absolute directions.

Constraints
  • required: false
TravelDirection string
Prey

Observed prey (type) caught or carried by the animal(s).

  • 9 Other item
  • 10 Fish, no further details
  • 11 Small fish, unidentified (ca. bill length)
  • 12 Medium fish, unidentified (ca. 2-5x bill length)
  • 13 Large fish, unidentified (difficult to handle)
  • 14 Feeding sandeel ball at surface
  • 15 Feeding clupeoid ball at surface
  • 16 Feeding unidentified fish ball at surface
  • 17 Feeding capelin ball at surface
  • 20 Gurnard
  • 21 Herring or sprat
  • 22 Sandeel
  • 23 Gadoid fish
  • 24 Flatfish
  • 25 Regurgitated fish after aerial pursuit
  • 26 Salmonid
  • 27 Capelin
  • 28 Eel
  • 29 Pipefish
  • 30 Small particles, unidentified
  • 31 Large object, unidentified
  • 32 Jellyfish
  • 33 Squid
  • 34 Worm (e.g. Nereis)
  • 35 Barnacles (Balanidae)
  • 36 Oil from oil slick
  • 40 Crustacean, unidentified
  • 41 Swimming crab
  • 42 Starfish
  • 43 Sea urchin
  • 44 Shore crab
  • 45 Bivalve, unidentified
  • 46 Mussel
  • 47 Whelk eggs capsule
  • 50 Carrion or big unidentified corpse
  • 51 Seal carcass
  • 52 Whale carcass
  • 53 Bird carcass
  • 54 Litter, rubbish
  • 55 Regurgitated unidentified prey after aerial pursuit
  • 56 Bird kill (e.g. bonxie)
  • 57 Excrements (e.g. from whale)
  • 58 Kitchen scraps
  • 59 Bread
  • 60 Fishery waste, unidentified
  • 61 Discarded roundfish
  • 62 Discarded flatfish
  • 63 Discarded offal
  • 64 Discarded benthic invertebrate, unidentified
  • 65 Discarded starfish
  • 66 Discarded crustacean
  • 70 Seaweed as nest material
  • 71 Insects
Constraints
  • required: false
PreyType string
Association

Associations between the animal(s) and vessels/structures/floating matter. Combine multiple values with ~. Originally described in Camphuysen & Garthe (2004) Appendix 1.

  • 10 Associated with fish shoal
  • 11 Associated with cetaceans
  • 12 Associated with front
  • 13 Associated with line in sea
  • 14 Sitting on or near floating wood
  • 15 Associated with floating litter
  • 16 Associated with oil slick
  • 17 Associated with floating seaweed
  • 18 Associated with observation base
  • 19 Sitting on observation base
  • 20 Deliberately approaching observation base
  • 21 Associated with other vessel
  • 22 Associated with or on buoy
  • 23 Associated with offshore platform
  • 24 Sitting on offshore platform
  • 25 Sitting on marking pole or stick
  • 26 Associated with fishing vessel
  • 27 Associated with or on sea ice
  • 28 Associated with land (e.g. colony)
  • 29 Associated with sand banks
  • 50 MSFA participant, no further details
  • 51 MSFA participant, joined by others
  • 52 MSFA participant, joining flock
  • 53 MSFA participant, scrounger type
  • 54 MSFA participant, solitary diver
  • 55 MSFA participant, beater
  • 56 MSFA participant, social feeder
  • 57 Type II MSFA participant
  • 58 Type III MSFA participant
  • 59 Drive hunt MSFA participant
  • 100 Associated with set net
  • 101 Associated with fish trap
  • 102 On sandbank
  • 103 Next to sandbank
  • 110 Inside wind farm
  • 111 Inside wind farm, associated with floating litter
  • 112 Inside wind farm, associated with observation base
  • 113 Inside wind farm, associated with floating wood
  • 114 Inside wind farm, associated with floating sea weed
  • 115 Inside wind farm, associated with platform
  • 116 Sitting on wind turbine (foundation)
  • 117 Flying or swimming near wind turbine (foundation)
  • 200 Flying between (turbine) foundations

MSFA stands for multi-species feeding association (Camphuysen & Webb, 1999).

Constraints
  • required: false
  • maxLength: 30
  • pattern: (\d{2,3}|~)+
Association string
Behaviour

Observed behaviour of the animal(s). Combine multiple values with ~. Originally described in Camphuysen & Garthe (2004) Appendix 2.

  • 30 Holding fish
  • 31 Without fish
  • 32 Feeding young at sea
  • 33 Feeding, method unspecified
  • 34 Wading, filtering or probing
  • 35 Scooping prey from surface
  • 36 Aerial pursuit
  • 37 Skimming
  • 38 Hydroplaning
  • 39 Pattering
  • 40 Scavenging
  • 41 Scavenging at fishing vessel
  • 42 Dipping
  • 43 Surface seizing
  • 44 Surface pecking
  • 45 Deep plunging
  • 46 Shallow plunging
  • 47 Pursuit plunging
  • 48 Pursuit diving, or bottom feeding
  • 49 Actively searching
  • 60 Resting or apparently asleep
  • 61 Courtship display
  • 62 Courtship feeding
  • 63 Copulating
  • 64 Carrying nest material
  • 65 Guarding chick
  • 66 Preening or bathing
  • 67 Colony rafts
  • 68 Kleptoparasitising
  • 69 Circling high
  • 70 Wheeling or swimming slowly
  • 71 Escape from ship (rooster tail)
  • 72 Swimming fast, not avoiding ship
  • 73 Breaching clear out of the water
  • 74 At the bow of the ship
  • 75 Apparently feeding: herding behaviour
  • 76 Apparently feeding: other behaviour
  • 77 Calf at the tail of adult
  • 78 Calf swimming freely in herd
  • 79 Basking, afloat
  • 80 Spy-hopping
  • 81 Lob-tailing
  • 82 Tail/flipper slapping
  • 83 Approaching ship
  • 84 Only blow visible (whales)
  • 85 Only splashes visible (dolphins)
  • 86 Acrobatic leaps
  • 87 Sexual behaviour
  • 88 Play
  • 89 Haul-out
  • 90 Under attack by kleptoparasite
  • 91 Under attack (as prey) by bird
  • 92 Under attack (as prey) by mar. mammal
  • 93 Escape diving
  • 94 Flushed (disturbance)
  • 95 Injured
  • 96 Entangled in fishing gear or rope
  • 97 Oiled
  • 98 Sick, unwell
  • 99 Dead
  • 100 Carousel feeding (orca)
  • 101 Pod splitting
  • 102 Pod formation
  • 103 Source avoiding behaviour
  • 111 Not foraging
  • 112 Diving (no specification)
  • 113 Active migration
  • 114 Flying off (no specification)
  • 115 On water/swimming
  • 116 Distraction behaviour
  • 117 Flying (no specification)
  • 118 Submerged
  • 119 Surfacing
  • 120 On artificial piece of something (platform, pole)
  • 121 Milling / Non-directional behaviour
  • 122 Diving (marine mammals)
  • 123 Head out of water (seals)
Constraints
  • required: false
  • maxLength: 30
  • pattern: (\d{2,3}|~)+
Behaviour string
Notes

Additional details about to the observation.

Constraints
  • required: false
  • maxLength: 300
string