The ICES Benthos Ecology Working Group is integrating recent macrobenthic infaunal data (1999-2001) available from various sources, including national monitoring surveys, in North Sea soft bottom sediments. lt is expected to cover most of the North Sea. The main goal is an overall comparison with the North Sea Benthos Survey data of 1986, in order to determine whether there have been any significant changes and, if so, what may be the causal influences (e.g., climate change, fishing impacts). The work will contribute valuable information on several other topics such as habitat classification and the distribution of endangered species. Therefore, in addition to physico-chemical measurements of sediments samples alongside the benthic fauna, information on water depths, temperature, water quality and salinity will be incorporated in the analysis of species and community distributions. Also, we will use existing ecological and hydrographical models for currents, bottom shear stress and carbon input, along with information on the distribution of habitat types, to explain the observed distribution patterns. At the ASC, an overview of the data available will be presented as well as the anticipated outcomes, and the first steps taken to deal with taxonomic differences and other issues affecting the capability to integrate submitted information.