Plankton is the base of Life in the Ocean.

Particles are food up to fish and main players in carbon sequestration.


The Observatoire Océanologique of Villefranche-sur-Mer (OOV) and the Laboratory of Villefranche sur Mer  (LOV) own one of the largest plankton image database. The images were obtained by different high throughput imaging instruments developed in the laboratory for two of them (UVP and Zooscan). These instruments, their softwares, the data quality control are premises of future Biological Operational Oceanography.















The PIQ platform has several aims:

  1. -quasi real time analyze of net collected zooplankton time series and data rescue in high definition digital images of zooplankton samples.

  2. -analyse zooplankton samples or UVP5 profiles from spatial or temporal scientific surveys (for example TARA, MOOSE) or from monitoring surveys (for example MPA)

  3. -provide zooplankton samples for species identification through an interactive system for collaborations with scientists on preserved specimen.

  4. -analyse UVP5 data from our own surveys and also for other users

  5. -We also provide services such as training in the use of imaging instruments (few international courses have been hosted both for UVP5 and Zooscan), data Quality Control and expertise for agencies such as MPA of Mer d’Iroise.


In situ images are obtained with the UVP since 1991 and  up to 500 profiles are obtained each year. To date more than 5000 profiles were obtained globally.

In lab images are mainly obtained using the ZOOSCAN on the Point B zooplankton time series. The sampling  was initiated in 1966 and continues since with the RADEZOO collection service. Samples were often acquired on the daily basis and stored and analyzed weekly.


In addition to save historical data, we are giving networked access to the zooplankton images and counts through national (RESOMAR) and international data centers (JEDI, PANGEA and COPEPODA). This will let every interested scientist to work on the original digital image sample. This is a completely new approach that may stimulate the networked collaboration between experts.


500 net samples/year analyzed with Zooscan, 500 UVP profiles/year , more than 106  images/year, 900 data sets on Pangea