SIBES -Synoptic Intertidal Benthic Survey- is a monitoring scheme for sampling intertidal macrofauna across the Dutch Wadden Sea. It is partly funded by NAM for the ecological monitoring of the gas drilling areas in the eastern Wadden Sea.
The systematic monitoring data obtained with SIBES are an essential component of the many studies explaining how animals (birds, fish) distribute, and how their survival prospects depend on habitat use.
SIBES uses a gridded sampling design that encompasses the entire Dutch Wadden Sea, with a combination of sample points taken at 500m intervals, and additional random sample points. Thus, it maximises effectiveness at minimal costs.
Today, SIBES contains more than six thousand sampling points, some of which are also located on the German mudflats. The project has also set the bar for sampling in other tidal areas around the world. Not only has SIBES set the standard for the way benthic organisms are sampled on flats, it has become an export product that we in the Netherlands can be proud of.
Each summer a team of 8 scientists and many volunteers go out with NIOZ’s RV Navicula to take benthic samples.