Australian Plankton Survey

What is the Australian Plankton Survey?

The Australian Plankton Survey measures plankton communities around Australia using Continuous Plankton Recorders (CPRs). Being small and free-floating, plankton are useful indicators of ecosystem health and changes. The long-term datasets of Australian plankton sampled and processed by the Australian Plankton Survey provide researches and policymakers with environmental and climatic indicators, harmful algal bloom detection, eutrophication and pollution information at both local and national scales.   

The key aims of the Australian Plankton Survey are to:

  • Map plankton biodiversity and distribution
  • Develop and sustain the long-term monitoring of Australian waters
  • Document changes in plankton communities in response to climatic changes
  • Provide indices for fisheries management
  • Detect harmful algal blooms
  • Validate remote sensing
  • Initialise and test ecosystem models

Key Data Streams


The Zooplankton Image Gallery contains downloadbale images of plankton from Australian Waters collected as part of the Australian Plankton Survey. All images are taken by Anita Slotwinski. 


Anthony Richardson 
Frank Coman



Acknowledging IMOS 

Users of IMOS data are required to clearly acknowledge the source material by including the following statement:

Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) is enabled by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). It is operated by a consortium of institutions as an unincorporated joint venture, with the University of Tasmania as Lead Agent.