• Operated by the Marine Biological Association,
    the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey
    is one of the world's longest running
    and most geographically extensive
    marine ecological surveys
  • Towing since 1931 and over 9 decades of analysis
    100’s of scientists around the world are using CPR data
    The CPR Survey has now towed over 7 million nautical miles
    We collect plankton coupled with ocean physical, chemical and biological observations
    Our data are freely available and collaborations encouraged
  • video
    OPERATIONS / TAXONOMY / INSTRUMENTATION / DATA ANALYSIS / POLICY MAKERS / SCIENTISTS
    The future of the CPR Survey
    The iCPR project: Integrating artificial intelligence throughout all CPR activities

Welcome to the CPR Survey

The Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey is the most geographically extensive marine monitoring programme in the world. Started in 1931. Today the Survey is operated by the Marine Biological Association, based in Plymouth, UK.

7284725

Total Nautical Miles Towed

659

Taxa Routinely Analysed

93

Years Towing

282552

Total Samples Analysed

Key Services

Marine biological datasets provide a wide range of environmental and climatic indicators to address marine environmental management issues such as Harmful Algal Blooms, pollution, climate change and fisheries

Research

At the base of the marine foodweb, the free floating plant life of the sea (phytoplankton) provide food for the animal plankton (zooplankton) which in turn provide food for many other marine organisms

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Policy Makers

Policy drivers continue to influence research at the CPR Survey and an important aim of the organisation is to use CPR data and the expertise of Survey scientists to deliver evidence-based advice to policy makers and ecosystem managers

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Data

The CPR Survey is unique in having comparable data on the geographical distribution, seasonal cycles and year-to-year changes in abundance of plankton over a large spatial area

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FIND OUT WHAT WE HAVE BEEN UP TO AND WHAT IS COMING UP

Latest Tweets

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New study reveals link between climate change, oceanic circulation and dinoflagellates

05 Feb 2024 | 13

Researchers from the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey based at the MBA have led a study to assess the long-term changes in dinoflagellate biomass and biodiversity to see if there is a link to large scale climate patterns and oceanic circulation in the North Atlantic....

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Small but mighty – the importance of the ocean’s tiniest inhabitants

01 Feb 2024 | 17

Tiny plankton – measuring less than 20µm (or 0.02mm) in diameter – make up the majority of plankton in the ocean and play a critical role in the planet’s health, according to new research. However, scientists say challenges in identifying them have led to them becoming a s...

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120 years of collaboration with Cefas

02 Oct 2023 | 92

We recently had the pleasure of welcoming Cefas Chief Executive Neil Hornby and Cefas Chief Scientist, Professor Grant Stentiford. Cefas is a government agency under the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) in the UK. It is primarily responsible for provid...