Friday, November 19, 2010

New Plankton Net

Saw a manta ray off of Coconut Island the other day. At first, I thought it was a patch of coral below me (since the water here is so clear - or not), but it moved and coral typically does not do that. I swam down to watch a 6 foot manta cruising by about 10 feet down. They are attracted to areas of high plankton availability - which would certainly include Kane'ohe Bay. They swim with mouth wide open, filtering the water.

This set me to thinking about Sal's complaints about our current plankton net. He used a better one and thought we should get one. Thankfully Dr. Gopal has done that for us. I just never unwrapped it.

So try out the new net. It is even a finer mesh than the old, so it will catch even smaller plankton. Possibly even the plant plankton (phyto-plankton). And when you do use it, think of the mantas in the bay. They are out there, working a much larger size range of plankton than our nets.

PS - please note that although similar, the image is not of our new net. We have a much more modest size, same as before with a more efficient "cod end" (that would be the collection cup part). Image credit to NASA (I have got to get a camera soon for the program).



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