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Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS) Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey Database
Entry ID: GLOBEC_009_SAHFOS_001

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Abstract: The aims of the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey are to monitor the near-surface plankton of the North Atlantic and North Sea on a monthly basis, using Continuous Plankton Recorders on a network of routes to cover the area.

Tables of month/year sampling, or a list of latitude, longitude and date of selected samples in the database can be obtained by using the 'Data Extract' link. There ... View entire text
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Description: SAHFOS 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. There is no other survey in the world with 76 years of marine plankton data.

CPR Data are available in paper form back to 1931 and from January 1946 onwards in a computerized relational database. The database contains results from 212,014 samples with 2,542,580 taxonomic abundance entries.

Analyzed sample information is entered on to an analysis sheet which is typed into the computer once the whole route is completed. These data are then scrutinized by rigorous quality control methods, before the survey database is incremented. The database then calculates the accepted mean value for the categories and applies abundance values. In 2008 a new database for the unique CPR data set will be in regular use. The advantage of this new database is that it streamlines the data input, checking and data extraction process.
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Geographic Coverage
Spatial coordinates   
  N: 70.0   S: 30.0   E: 20.0   W: -80.0

Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 1946-01-01
ISO Topic Category
SHIPS Ancillary Description
Data Center
Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science Supplemental Info
Data Center URL:

Data Center Personnel
Phone: +44 1752 633208
Fax: +44 1752 600015
Email: dpst at
Contact Address:
The Laboratory,
Citadel Hill,
City: Plymouth
Postal Code: PL1 2PB
Country: UK
Phone: +44 (0)1752 633401
Fax: +44 (0)1752 633101
Email: globec at
Contact Address:
GLOBEC International Project Office
Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Prospect Place
City: Plymouth
Postal Code: PL1 3DH
Country: UK
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2001-03-05
Last DIF Revision Date: 2017-08-24