Recent publications in the fluid physics literature have suggested that low-Reynolds-number swimming organisms might contribute significantly to ocean mixing. These papers have focussed on the mass transport due to fluid capture and disturbance by settling or swimming particles based on classical fluid mechanics flows but have neglected the role of molecular property diffusion. Scale-analysis of the property conservation equation finds that, while properties with low molecular diffusivities can have enhanced mixing for typical volume fractions in aggregations of migrating zooplankton, this mixing is still well below that due to internal-wave breaking so unlikely to be important in the ocean.
Kunze, Eric. 2011. "Fluid mixing by swimming organisms in the low-Reynolds-number limit." Journal of Marine Research 69, (4). https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/journal_of_marine_research/319