During this cruise we have been using primarily three types of gear to collect plankton samples: a 61-cm bongo net, 1.8-m Isaacs-Kidd midwater trawl (IKMT), and a Video Plankton Recorder (VPR). The bongo and IKMT are pulled through the water and plankton is concentrated at the tail end of the net, also called the cod end.
Due to different mouth opening and mesh size, bongo and IKMT collect different amounts of plankton, different types of plankton, and different sizes of plankton from the same station. The bongo has a smaller mouth opening and finer mesh than the IKMT, and generally catches smaller zooplankton and fish larvae. The IKMT is more efficient at collecting larger zooplankton and fish.
Using multiple types of nets or advanced sampling instruments to collect plankton information on a cruise allows researchers to better understand the entire plankton community.
DE 11-10 Ecosystem Processes Research Cruise