Zooplankton samples from the North Arabian Sea Environment and Ecosystem Research (NASEER) cruises were analyzed to determine
the basic taxonomic composition, biomass (standing stock) and the total and copepod numeric abundance; these characteristics
are discussed with reference to the different monsoon periods. Cruises carried out during March 1993 and May 1994, categorized
as pre-southwest ... [Show full abstract] monsoon periods, and a cruise in December 1994, categorized as a northeast monsoon period, are discussed
in detail. The biomass of January 1992 versus August 1992 and August 1992 versus March 1993 differed significantly (F = 6.44, P≤ 0.05). Ranges of highest and lowest biomass from each cruise are also given. Distinct “high” and “low” production areas
of statistically significant difference (F = 12.67, P≤ 0.05) were observed. The “high” and “low” production areas were mobile and followed the surface wind circulation patterns
(wind reversal pattern) during the northeast and southwest monsoon periods. Overall zooplankton showed a patchy distribution.
The overall zooplankton abundance and total copepod counts differed significantly between the Cruises 3 versus 4 and 4 versus
5 (F = 15.67, P≤ 0.05 and F = 34.39, P≤ 0.05, respectively). There was no significant difference (P≥ 0.05) in biomass, between eutrophic and oligotrophic stations, suggesting no difference between near shore and offshore
waters. Thirty-eight taxonomic groups were identified from the samples, with copepods being the most dominant group, followed
by chaetognaths and siphonophores. Copepods constitute an average of 52.50 to 74.93% of the total zooplankton count and reach
maxima of 92.14% of the total zooplankton count at the outset of the southwest monsoon (March 1993) and 91.39% at the outset
of the active northeast monsoon (December 1994).