Young Fish Trawl survey

Young Fish Montage

Macroplankton, larval fish and fish egg sampling, known as the Young Fish Trawl (YFT) survey, has been carried out by the Marine Biological Association since 1924. Zooplankton organisms identified in the analysis of these samples are based on those counted by Russell during early work off Plymouth (Russell, 1935). Subsequently this list was expanded to include those identified as "indicator" species of differing hydrographic regions (Russell, 1939).

Sampling has taken place at various long-term stations off the coast of Plymouth; L5 (50° 11'N 04° 18'W), E1 (50° 02'N 04° 22'W) and L4 (50° 15'N 04° 13'W). L5 has a depth of ~58m and is positioned at the front between coastal and offshore water. E1 has a depth of ~70m and is in offshore, generally well mixed water. Sampling frequency has varied between weekly, biweekly and monthly and is dependent on suitable weather conditions.

Although the net design and deployment has been changed on several occasions, care has been taken to ensure that sampling characteristics have not altered appreciably. Samples are collected using a 700 micron Young Fish Trawl (YFT) deployed in an oblique tow for a duration of 20 minutes. For queries and further information please contact Rachel Brittain (

The WCO is a partnership between Plymouth Marine Laboratory and The Marine Biological Association.

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WCO Office: Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 3DH, UK.
T: +44 (0)1752 633100, F: +44 (0)1752 633101.

Project funded by:

Research council’s National capability funding.