In this Sept. 13, 2017, file photo, a lobster fishing boat heads out to sea at sunrise off shore from Portland. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

A long-running study of tiny organisms off New England is set to resume due to an agreement between scientific organizations.

The survey is about plankton in the Gulf of Maine. Plankton are tiny animals and plants that play a key role in the ocean’s food chain. The survey of Gulf of Maine plankton originally ran from 1961 to 2017.

The survey will resume because of an agreement between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, England.

NOAA said the Marine Biological Association will run and maintain the survey through 2024.

Chris Melrose, a research oceanographer at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s laboratory in Narragansett, Rhode Island, said continuing the survey “is essential to understanding the impact of climate change to marine ecosystems.”