Measuring Plankton

The ocean is also the largest 'lung' we have on the planet.  The phytoplankton in our oceans provide us with half the oxygen we breath as a by-product of photosynthesis.  That's every second breath. Keeping an eye on these plankton and their health seems kinda important when you look at it like that doesn't it?


Now we know very little about phytoplankton on board Wakanui, but even so we can assist scientists in their work.  By taking readings of how much 'stuff' there is in the water column as we travel we can help give scientists a better picture of what is out there.

A simple way is by dropping a Secchi Disk into the water and seeing when it disappears.  If you go out on the water at all, you too can make and use a disk and add to the global database of readings.  You can find out more at and download the app to add your own recordings.


Check out this video explaining how the Secchi Disk works and this video to find out more about plankton.


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