Manta Net Tow

Manta Net Tow (July 2021)

The Manta Net is towed horizontally to collect plankton samples from the ocean surface.

The Manta Net, an improved design of the Neuston Net, is a twin-winged continuous-flow surface tow. The net is designed to collect organisms in the upper 8 cm of the ocean, otherwise known as “neuston”. 

The Manta net is towed for 15 mins at a ship speed of ~1.5 knots. The frame is supported at the ocean surface by a pair of aquaplanes projecting at right angles from the paravanes. The net is towed by a wire yoke with one short bridle and one long bridle in order to angle the net from the ship. The net is has a mouth area of 0.1333 m2 and is made of 505 μm square mesh nylon with a 333 μm mesh codend.

The sample is preserved in formaldehyde and back on land, the samples are sorted for ichthyoplankton and zooplankton, and archived at the SIO Pelagic Invertebrate Collection and NOAA SWFSC Ichthyoplankton Collection.

Manta Net tows are preformed on all standard CalCOFI stations (not 20 m SCCOOS stations), weather permitting