Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

» About the Antarctic Expedition

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  • Week 6

» Learn More: Salps!

» Learn More: Weddell Seals!

» Learn More: Penguins!

» Learn More: Drake!

» Learn More: Gould!

» Learn More: CTD

» Learn More: Plankton Nets!

» Thank you!

Enlarge image
This is a plankton net. It is towed through
the water to strain out the plankton, just like
a baleen whale strains water to collect its

Plankton Nets!

Most of the creatures we are studying are too small to see with the naked eye- so how do we collect them?  If they aren’t fragile like salps, we can use a plankton net.  These nets have very fine mesh that will catch even microscopic organisms.  Depending on whether you want to look at the way plankton change with depth or from place to place, you can tow these nets behind your ship (a “horizontal” or “oblique tow”), or just lower them over the side (a “vertical” tow).  Click the links below for more about plankton nets and tows.

Doing an oblique/horizontal tow:

A vertical tow

Some nets look like bongos!

Build your own plankton net!

See the results of a virtual tow:

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