This Sled and Trawl Field Manual includes gear designed to sample organisms on the seafloor, excluding microbes and meiofauna (see chapters in Eleftheriou and Mcintyre 2005, Danovaro 2010 for such methods).
Pipe dredges, rock dredges and other such gear are not included because biological collections by these are incidental. Similarly, commercial dredges are not considered because they have a narrow taxonomic focus (e.g. scallop dredge) and are not suitable for general monitoring purposes. Fish traps and similar gear are not included because they often apply to shallow waters or reef-associated species and often use bait. This Field Manual does not target endobionts or burrowing species (e.g. animals living within sponges, rocks, corals) due to the excessive amount of time needed to process such animals (Coggan et al. 2005) and their limited use in a national monitoring program. Although some sleds are designed to sample small macrofauna and infauna (e.g. Brenke 2005), for the purposes of this field manual, we include only larger macrofauna and megafauna. Smaller taxa are targeted in the Grab and Boxcore Field Manual. If researchers opt to use a sled to sample smaller fauna, we recommend combining Pre-survey Planning and Onboard Sample Acquisition sections from this field manual with Onboard Sample Processing from the Grab and Box Corer Field Manual (Chapter 9).