Held every two years, the ring-test assesses the quality of zooplankton identification through practical tests and additional workshops. 

The opportunity has arisen for a small additional group to join this year’s participants of the NMBAQC Zooplankton Ring-Test for the result workshop which includes talks from eminent taxonomists. 

While the practical test has now happened (the next opportunity to take part in this will be 2025) there is the opportunity to join for the workshop element where the results of the test will be discussed and there will additional talks on relevant subjects. 

Zooplankton are included in the UK Marine Strategy and EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) as an indicator group; however, until recently, there were few other current standards for their sampling and identification. As such, the Healthy and Biologically Diverse Seas Evidence Group (HBDSEG) identified a need for a quality control mechanism for the correct identification of zooplankton.

The Marine Biological Association, based in Plymouth, UK provides a Zooplankton Ring-Test on behalf of the NMBAQC scheme.

Please see below for the draft timetable, please note timings subject to change

Thurs 20th July 2023

9am for 9:30 am start

9:30 Introduction and ice breaker, results of NMBAQC ring test part 1 by Marianne Wootton 

10:45 Tea break

11:15 Results of NMBAQC ring test part 2 and discussion (Marianne Wootton)

12:30 Non-native news (Marianne Wootton)

13:00 Lunch

14:00 The International Triennial England Mackerel Egg Survey with fish egg identification practical by Linford Mann (Fisheries Stock Monitoring Team Leader, CEFAS, UK)

15:00 Ring test participants presentations and networking

16:00 Close of day 1

17:00 Optional walking tour of Plymouth Hoe/Barbican by Select South West Tours

6:30pm Optional dinner at restaurant on historic Barbican

Friday 21st July 2023

9am for 9:15 start

9:15 Marine Biological Association membership by Jo Langston (Head of Membership, MBA)

9:30 An introduction to fish larvae identification by Dr Nalani Schnell (Lecturer at National Museum of Natural History, France) part 1

10:45 Tea break

11:15 An introduction to fish larvae identification by Dr Nalani Schnell part 2

12:15 The MBA research vessel Sepia by Rachel Brittain (Research Vessel Manager, MBA)

12:35 Tour of MBA seawater facility by Alix Harvey (Research Aquarium Manager, MBA)

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Microscopy of own material - attendees are encouraged to bring their own material, interesting/unusual or problematic specimens for discussion and identification. Please note: it is participants responsibility to ensure that all samples are safely transported to the MBA, we would recommend they are transferred to water for transport if possible.  On arrival there will be the facilities to store and extract samples from any preservative. 

14:30-15:00 Optional tour of Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey

15:00-15:30 Optional tour of National Marine Biological Library

16:30 Workshop close