The Planula IV operates exclusively in Arcachon Bay, the conditions in the entrance channels exclude all missions on the open sea.
The Planula IV devotes:
- 3/4 of her time to research and observation
- 1/4 to teaching activities (themed courses and introduction to oceanography).
Underwater devices regularly used aboard the Planula IV include dredges, grabs, plankton nets, bottles, probes and a sediment profile imager.