Explore the Deep Sea

Tools & Techniques

Nets to catch plankton, plus instruments to collect information about the water.

What is it?

MOCNESS showing instruments and hanging net. Image courtesy of B. Nichols.

A computer-controlled system of nets and other equipment which is towed behind the ship. There are 9 nets all together, mounted on a rectangular aluminum frame.

How does it work?

Why is it used?

An assortment of midwater fishes and invertebrates captured in the nets of the MOCNESS.. Image courtesy of B. Nichols.

The MOCNESS can be towed through the "plume" of water that rises from a hydrothermal vent, to collect living organisms such as plankton. Biologists are especially interested in how larval stages of hot vent life might spread from vent to vent. So they are using the MOCNESS to discover where larvae are found. Since one of the nets is open on the way down to the vent field, and another on the way back up, the MOCNESS can also catch some curious creatures in transit, such as this fish (left).


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