Staternent of the Problern.----In a previous communication, Winsor and Walford (1936) analyzed the results of repeated vertical hauls of different types of plankton nets, making use of data available in the literature. They concluded that the observed results could be accounted for reasonably well on the assumptions that (a) the organisms were randomly distributed in the medium and (b) that the volume of medium effectively sampled varied from haul to haul. From this result it follows that as the total catch is increased (as by increasing the net size) the reliability of a population estimate is ultimately limited by variation in volume sampled; and that where such conditions hold, it is useless to attempt greater accuracy by increasing either the total catch or the fraction counted much beyond the point where 100 organisms of the kind in question are counted.
Winsor, C. P., and G. L. Clarke. 1940. "A statistical study of variation in the catch of plankton nets." Journal of Marine Research 3, (1). https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/journal_of_marine_research/559