THE MARINE PLANKTON OP THE COASTAL WATERS OF NEW SOUTH WALES. I. The Chief Planktonic Forms and their Seasonal Distribution. By Professor William J. Dakin, D.Sc, F.Z.S., and Allen Colefax, B.Sc, Zoology Department, University of Sydney. (Plate vii; seven Text-figures.) [Read 28th June, 1933.] Introduction.* Since this paper is the first of a series of plankton studies which it is Intended should come from the Zoology Department of the University of Sydney, and the associated Sydney University Biological Station, it is desirable that the general aim of the work should be explained at the outset. Systematized studies of the biology of the ocean waters off the coasts of Australia can only be said to have been initiated very recently. It is true that there are some apparent exceptions to this statement. Various expeditions have, from time to time, collected in Australian waters, dating from the "Challenger" Expedition in 1874 to the "Dana" Expedition in 1929. Local expeditions, more especially from Sydney, have brought in vast quantities of dredged materials, and thanks in particular to the activities of the Australian Museum, the systematic zoology of the Australian coastal areas is very well known. A rather elaborately organized expedition spent a year on the Barrier Reef in 1928-1929, and carried out a very thorough biological investigation of the chosen base. Notwithstanding this, however, it is surprising that until recently there was no marine biological station in the whole of Australia — even at present there is only one small semi-private station in occupation — and no organized work at sea on the plankton or the marine hydrography has been carried out, apart from that of the Barrier Reef Expedition. Again, whilst a systematic study of the Australian fishes has been pursued very satisfactorily indeed, practically no serious researches into the general biology of the fish fauna have ever been made. To return to the matter of the planktonic life, our knowledge even of the systematics is confined to published accounts of a very few catches taken in Australian waters, by expeditions which were en route to other regions — the' "Challenger" made a few catches in the coastal waters, and the British Antarctic Expedition ("Terra Nova"), 1910-1913, made tow-nettings whilst between New Zealand and Australia in the winter of 1911. The German surgeon, Kramer, used a tow-net for Copepoda whilst in New Zealand coastal waters, at Port Jackson, and again at Melbourne. Tow-nettings have, of course, also been frequently made for teaching purposes — by members of the staffs of different Australian Universities, and by others interested, without any serious attempt being made to diagnose the species obtained. * The pursuit of these marine investigations has been valuably aided by grants from the Research Endowment Fund of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and also the National Research Council of Australia, to whom our thanks are warmly tendered.