Investigating Deep-Sea Organisms

Plankton Net Trapping System

Collecting Organisms from Deep Sea

Marine organisms are collected in sample bottles in a size of a 4-liter-plastic bottle. The sample bottles are fixed in the edge of the plankton net of several meters long. The net can be handled on a ship to collect samples at any depth of the ocean. In addition, a high-vision camera can be installed to the net to shoot photographs of fishes, squids or planktons.

A sample of plankton and micronekton
Plankton and micronekton collected in the net

Slurp Gun (Suction sampler for deep-sea animals)

Capturing Deep-Sea Organisms

The slurp gun is a suction sampler for deep-sea animals that is installed to research vessels. It vacuums up any animals together with seawater through an 8-cm diameter hosepipe. The animals are placed in 6 bottles in a multiple-canister repository (see the photograph). A mesh of each bottle permits drainage of seawater but trapping the animals.

Slurp gun
Slurp gun

High-Vision Camera

Shooting Deep-Sea Organisms using a High-Vision Camera

The 3,000 m-class remotely-operated vehicle "HYPER-DOLPHIN" is equipped with ultra-sensitive, high-vision cameras that were developed jointly with NHK for the purpose of deep-sea researches. The system makes it possible to observe living organisms in situ for high quality, and have revealed their morphology and ecology, which are hardly studied in samples trapped in plankton nets. It is particularly useful to identify species of very fragile organisms such as jellyfish based on observation of body structures or sharp tentacles.

The TV camera onboard the "HYPER-DOLPHIN"
High-vision camera onboard the "HYPER-DOLPHIN"
Lithodid crab

Visual Plankton Recorder (VPR)

Observing Microplankton using an Underwater Microscope

The VPR is a device developed for microscopic observation of deep-sea living organisms. It consists of an underwater microscope and a digital camera. The device allows us to shoot color images of planktons or marine snow at a high magnification.

The VPR onboard the MULTI-SPLASH CTD Frame
The VPR onboard the MULTI-SPLASH CTD Frame
Arctapodema sp.
Arctapodema sp.