PERSEUS lays the groundwork for the Mediterranean Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey: Teaching an old device new routes
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The good environmental status of European Seas is threatened by natural and anthropogenic disturbances. The Cyprus Institute (CyI) through the EU project PERSEUS has launched the Mediterranean Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) survey (MedCPR) to monitor and assess the health of the basin, in view of the European Commission goal for clean seas by 2020. The survey is based on the use of the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) device, invented in the 1920’s and used to sample plankton, organisms that compose the bottom of the aquatic food chain. The CPR was put in water for the first time in the Eastern Mediterranean on October 21st, 2014, on a route from Larnaca to Haifa, collecting zooplankton and phytoplankton on a long stretch of filtering silk and oceanographic data through a sensor fastened on the CPR.

Samplings will take place in set frequency. Plankton gives information on the productivity and health of the ocean and can be used as an indicator of climate change and pollution. The CPR is designed to be operated by ships of opportunity that tow it on commercial routes. In this case, the tanker PETROLINA OCEAN, owned by Lefkaritis Group Ltd and managed through Columbia Shipmanagment, is voluntarily participating in the project. The survey will provide information on the current status of the Mediterranean Sea and a baseline to detect future changes.

For more information please contact Rana Abu Alhaija, (, PhD student, CyI.