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zooplankton, net, towing

Multiple Hands for a Multiple Net

Problem: how to find small drifting animals (zooplankton) in the ocean. Solution: tow a net to catch them. Bigger problem: how to determine which animals live at what depth without mixing them in one sample. Solution: Multiple Opening/Closing Net and Environmental Sampling System (MOCNESS), a large frame with several nets that scientists open and close independently at chosen depths to capture separate samples. First designed by WHOI biologist Peter Wiebe and now built by a local company, Biological Environmental Sampling Systems, scientists worldwide deploy MOCNESS nets to study zooplankton.

(Photo by Ellen Roosen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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